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Bombay HC directs BMC to seal unauthorised temple in Wadala, stays demolition till further orders

Maintaining that prima facie it was a contempt of its May 19 order by the BMC, the HC said on Tuesday that religious activities took place at the temple during the Ganesh festival irrespective of the civic body.

Written by Omkar Gokhale | Mumbai | Updated: September 23, 2020 12:02:48 pm
Bombay HC, BMC, Ganesh Utsav, Mumbai coronavirus lockdown, Temple demolition, Bom bay Hc on temple demolition, Mumbai news, Indian expressSeeking an affidavit with an apology from the BMC, the HC posted further hearing of the matter to September 29. (File)

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed the BMC to seal a re-erected unauthorised temple at Wadala and stayed its demolition until further orders. The court stated that it will pass orders only after hearing the persons responsible for re-building the temple.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish S Kulkarni was hearing a contempt petition filed by Mumbai resident Fletcher J Patel against the BMC for not following the HC order of May 19, in which the court had told the civic body that the structure will not be used for religious purposes and will be demolished immediately after the lockdown is lifted.

Patel submitted through advocate Balkrishna G Tangsali that the temple was used for religious purposes during Ganesh Utsav and was not demolished despite the court order and easing of lockdown restrictions.

The May 19 order was the fallout of a PIL filed by Dharavi resident Sanjay Avsare, who had alleged that after the BMC demolished the unauthorised Saidham Mitra Mandal temple at Ganesh Mandir Marg in Wadala in 2018, it was re-erected by local residents without taking due permission and despite knowing about it, the BMC did not initiate any action to demolish the premises.

Maintaining that prima facie it was a contempt of its May 19 order by the BMC, the HC said on Tuesday that religious activities took place at the temple during the Ganesh festival irrespective of the civic body and the police being directed to ensure that no person is granted access inside the premises and that the temple is not used for religious purposes till the lockdown is lifted.

Seeking an affidavit with an apology from the BMC, the HC posted further hearing of the matter to September 29.

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