DB for uniform legislation to protect places of worship
SRINAGAR, July 4: The High Court has called on the government to investigate the possibility of having uniform legislation governing places of worship and requested a report from Deputy Commissioner Baramulla regarding the encroachment on temple grounds.
The instruction was adopted by the divisional bench of Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Judge Sanjay Dhar in a petition filed by a certain Ranjeet Gurkha through his lawyer Salih Pirzada, arguing that a temple which he s long occupancy is being encroached upon.
He requests the management of temple property in accordance with the provisions of the 1997 J&K Migrant Immovable Property Act (Preservation and Restriction of Distressed Sales). By appealing to the Advocate General on this matter, he informed the court that a public interest relating to the preservation of temple properties and places of worship is pending before the court and argued that the present case can be considered with this DIP .
Meanwhile, the court ordered the GA to explore uniform legislation governing places of worship. The court also ordered the deputy commissioner to submit a report by Monday, that is, July 5, noting whether any land of the temple in question in Gulmarg has been encroached upon and is in unauthorized possession of. a third.
The petitioner argued in court that a Shiv temple located in Gulmarg is exposed to encroachment by the Gulmarg Development Authority and that Deputy Commissioner Baramulla, the custodian of migrants’ property in the district, failed to fulfill its property preservation obligations under the Migrants Act. .
It has been argued that after the demarcation by the authorities, the Gulmarg City Council built a structure on the south side of the temple and that the GDA exceeded its powers by taking the temple land without any legal authority.
The High Court in the Re-suo moto proceedings about which the GA informed the court has already ordered the identification of all illegal religious encroachments in J&K and Ladakh and the presentation of said information to the chief secretaries of the two UTs in order to make a political decision in regards.
The court ordered the divisional commissioners of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh to obtain a report of all deputy commissioners of all illegal religious structures that have encroached on public lands, with the location of the encroachments, the area encroached and details of the invader.
By order of the Court, the said exercise must be drawn up by the deputy commissioners within six weeks and presented to the chief secretaries of the two UTs of J&K and Ladakh. The chief secretaries were tasked with examining the matter by all relevant and competent authorities and taking a political decision on the matter.
DB requested that the political decision taken by the SCs be submitted to the court at the next court date. The case is being taken by the court on the instructions of the Supreme Court regarding the removal of illegal religious structures on public lands. The Supreme Court had implicated all states and UTs as a defendant in the case.
The Supreme Court has ordered that no unauthorized construction be carried out or authorized in the name of any temple, church, mosque or Gurdwara, etc. in public streets, public parks, etc. “With regard to unauthorized constructions of a religious nature that have already taken place, state governments and UTs should consider the same on a case-by-case basis and take appropriate action as quickly as possible,” the Supreme Court ordered. .
In order to ensure the implementation of the directives of the Supreme Court, the case was referred to the relevant High Courts for its supervision. “The High Court will have jurisdiction to rule on contempt of one of the orders made by this Court,” the Supreme Court said.
The High Court also requested that records of court orders made by the Supreme Court and its procedures be provided to the Chief Secretary to ensure compliance. The Court said that State SCs and UT Trustees have been urged to review the aforementioned encroachments on a case-by-case basis and take appropriate action as quickly as possible, but nothing has been filed to date.
The Court ordered the Registrar General to take steps to obtain the copy of the petition and other relevant documents from the Supreme Court no later than the next hearing date.