The Bombay high court on Thursday asked the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) to maintain status quo regarding demolition of a structure belonging to an adivasi woman that is located near a protected Buddhist stupa at Nallasopara.
The court has asked ASI to do so on humanitarian grounds although the structure is located near the stupa, declared a historical monument.
The petitioner, Sunanda Sitad, has moved high court aggrieved by the ASI's decision to demolish her house where she stays with her son, who incidentally works on a contract basis for the ASI at Vasai.
The widow states that she is below poverty line and her family has been staying there for the last 100 years.
She claims she has been paying tax for the structure since 1991 and that her late husband even maintained the stupa.
ASI counsel Aniket Nikam, submitted that the structure is unauthorised.
A division bench of justice PB Majmudar and justice Anoop Mohta observed that the petitioner may not have any legal rights, but a status quo has to be maintained on humanitarian grounds. Even Buddha had renounced the world after seeing poverty and misery, justice Majmudar commented.