Bombay high court tells BMC to seal unauthorised Wadala temple, stops its demolition
The court was informed that in May, the BMC had assured the court that the temple would be demolished after the coronavirus disease-induced lockdown restrictions were relaxedUpdated: Sep 22, 2020, 16:56 IST
The Bombay high court (HC) on Tuesday directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) authorities to seal an unauthorised temple at Wadala and stayed its demolition until further order.
The court while hearing a contempt petition was informed that though a May 19 order of the HC had ordered the demolition of the temple and restricted any religious activity, recent Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations were still organised there.
The court refused to grant permission to the BMC authorities to demolish the temple on Wednesday.
A two-member HC division bench, comprising Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni, while hearing the contempt petition filed by Fletcher Patel through advocate BG Tangsali was informed that in May the BMC had assured the court that the temple would be demolished after the coronavirus disease (Covid-19)-induced lockdown restrictions were relaxed.
In light of the assurance, the court had directed the civic body to ensure that there was no access to the temple.
However, the order was violated as religious activities were held, including the recent Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations.
Tangsali submitted that this was a blatant violation of the court order and, as a result, the contempt petition was valid.
The advocate, who represented the BMC, admitted that religious activities were performed in the temple. He apologised on behalf of the civic authorities for their failure to comply with the court order and assured that the demolition of the temple would be carried out on Wednesday.
The court heard the submissions and observed that prima facie there was contempt of its May 19 order.
It directed the petitioner and the BMC to ensure that the contemnors -- those responsible for the rebuilding of the temple – appear before the court on September 29 when the plea would be heard next.
The bench also directed the BMC to file an affidavit along with an apology before September 29.