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Bombay High Court asks Maharashtra government why illegal religious structures not removed

The GR specified that illegal and unauthorised shrines erected after September 29, 2009, had to be demolished.

The Bombay High Court sought a reply from the state government Wednesday on why it has not demolished illegal religious structures erected after September 29, 2009, despite a government resolution (GR) stating that these structures would be removed.

Pursuant to a Supreme Court order, a state government resolution of May 5, 2011, had prescribed a “well-defined” scheme for appropriate action against unauthorised religious structures.

The GR specified that illegal and unauthorised shrines erected after September 29, 2009, had to be demolished.

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Justices A S Oka and V L Achliya were hearing a public interest litigation filed by the Society for Fast Justice, an NGO, against illegal shrines in the city.

The GR also suggested that a three-tier committee be set up at the state, district and city corporation levels, including for Mumbai, Thane and Pune, to undertake appropriate action.

Pointing out that the coordination committee set up to oversee work done by these committees was set up only on July 15, the court said no progress was made besides coming up with a time-bound programme.

“Did they even have a meeting on July 15,” questioned the court.

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“There is nothing to show if something is being done. Why are the structures which came up after September 29, 2009 not being demolished,” the court asked the state.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said the process of carrying out surveys was complete in eight wards while survey in 11 wards was yet to be done. The next hearing has been fixed for next Wednesday.

mumbai.newsline@expressindia.com

First published on: 10-09-2015 at 01:54 IST
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