The Supreme Court in Ujjain’s Mahakaleshwar Temple case boldly stated on July 22nd 2021 that clearing encroachments cannot be left to the judiciary because the state is liable and must take responsibility and act against them.
The Supreme Court made certain brief comments while hearing a case involving the Mahakaleshwar temple in Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain district and ordered the removal of all encroachment within 500 metres of the temple, as well as a slew of other directions for the temple’s maintenance and repair, in September 2020.
The Madhya Pradesh state government as a reply stated in an affidavit of compliance filed before the Supreme Court that encroachment of 144 houses belonging to 250 families had been removed and that they had been paid Rs. 3,00,000/- each as rehabilitation compensation by the administration adhering to the orders given by the court itself.
“Under the law, the state cannot turn a blind eye to its own responsibility.” Why do you (the state) allow such encroachments to occur and then leave it to the courts to make decisions? Why has this court been asked to intervene, only for you (the state) to claim that we are throwing encroachers out because of the court order?”
A bench of justices UU Lalit and Ajay Rastogi stated
In Ujjain’s temple case Supreme Court said:
“This is something we see every day. Every time an encroachment occurs, a public interest lawsuit is filed (PIL). After we publish a notice on the PIL, political considerations enter the picture.”
“State are in charge of removing the encroachment in the first place. Why are these politicians in government unable to make a decision?”
And as far as this case relates when Delhi MCD tried to clear encroachments from Jahangirpuri Delhi, Supreme Court intervened hypocritically and less than an hour after the bulldozers rolled into Jahangirpuri in New Delhi to begin an anti-encroachment drive, the action was ordered to be stopped after the CJI NV Ramana ordered Status Quo on the matter.
In one case, Supreme Court asked the state to be responsible enough to run an anti-encroachment drive and in another case, where the state stepped up and took responsibility for the encroachment, the same Supreme Court on Thursday, that is today, extended the Status Quo on the issue of demolition of buildings in the national capital’s violence-plagued Jahangirpuri neighbourhood until further orders are issued.
On the plea filed by the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, a bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and B R Gavai issued notice to the Centre and others, alleging that only the buildings of Muslim riots accused are being razed.
The apex court also stated that the demolition on 20th April 2022, which was carried out despite the fact that the NDMC Mayor was informed, will be taken seriously. On Wednesday, bulldozers demolished several concrete and temporary structures near a mosque in Jahangirpuri as part of the BJP-run civic body’s anti-encroachment drive, days after the northwest Delhi neighbourhood was rocked by communal violence.