All state governments and Union Territory administrations, except the West Bengal, today placed their affidavits in the Supreme Court giving details of the policies and guidelines for removal, relocation and demolition of unauthorised places of worship at public land.
The apex court noted that only West Bengal government has not complied with its order and granted three weeks to it to file the affidavit with a warning that the chief secretary will have to be present before it on the failure.
Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam told a bench comprising Justices Dalveer Bhandari and T S Thakur that all the state governments have been very rigidly complying with the apex court order on the issue.
He said the chief secretaries of all the states have been very careful and have issued orders and circulars to the district magistrates for compliance of the apex court direction.
The bench listed the matter for further hearing on April 28 giving three weeks to the Solicitor General to make compilation of the affidavits filed by the state governments.
The apex court had on February 16 passed the direction after expressing dissatisfaction over the reports and affidavits filed by all states/UTs, barring Uttarkhand, wherein they stated that steps were being taken to remove or relocate unauthorised constructions in pursuant of the earlier direction of the bench.
In an interim order on December 7, 2009, the apex court had directed that henceforth, no unauthorised construction shall be carried out or permitted in the name of temple, church, mosque or gurudwara at public places.
The apex court had directed respective district magistrates and collectors or deputy commissioners in-charge of the districts to ensure that there is total compliance of the order and submit the status report before it.
In pursuant of the directions, the States/UTs had filed their response admitting the existence of such unauthorised construction for which necessary steps were being taken to remove or relocate them after consulting local people and others connected with the structure.