The Delhi High Court has refused to interfere with the demolition of a 55-year-old Kali Mata Mandir located at Mayapuri Chowk, Delhi. Justice Pratibha Singh was hearing the petition seeking quashing of Public Works Department’s (PWD) notice dated April 25 and minutes of the meeting of the Religious Committee allowing the demolition of the temple. The court said, “this Court is not inclined to interfere with the demolition of the temple structure in the present petition.”
The court said, “As per the sketch and the photographs which have been produced today, it is clear to the Court that the temple is on Government land. In fact the footpath for pedestrians as also the road has been encroached by the temple which is not permissible.”
“Further, because of the location of the temple i.e. in the corner of two roads, one main road and one arterial road, the smooth flow of the traffic is bound to be impeded,” the court added.
Furthermore, the court referred to the minutes of the meeting of the Religious Committee, wherein the Committee had come to the conclusion that “the temple structure is unauthorised and is situated on the main road. It is also obstructing free flow of traffic and thus had directed the removal of the said unauthorised religious structure.”
The court said that the Religious Committee took the decision to demolish the 55-year-old temple after considering all relevant factors and the PWD is giving effect to the same. The court said that therefore it is not inclined to interfere with the demolition of the temple.
The court gave one week time to the petitioner to remove the idols and other religious objects in the temple “for the same to be placed in other temples as directed by the Religious Committee.”
The court said, “In view of the nature of the religious structure, the Petitioner is permitted to remove the idols and other religious objects in the temple within one week for the same to be placed in other temples as directed by the Religious Committee.”
The court concluded that the PWD is free to demolish the temple after May 20. The court said, “No impediment shall be caused by the Petitioner or anyone on behalf of the Petitioner in the same. The local police shall render full assistance in the process in order to maintain law and order.”
Shreeyash Mittal is a lawyer based in Delhi, working as a Senior Associate (Corporate Law) at K&Co. Advocates & Legal Consultants in Noida. He graduated from Jindal Global Law School with honors, receiving awards for his outstanding contributions and leadership. Shreeyash is passionate about using new technologies to help clear the backlog of legal cases in India.