Tribune News Service
New Delhi, October 21
The Supreme Court today paved the way for reconstruction of Sant Ravidas Temple in Tughlaqabad area of south Delhi two months after it was demolished by the Delhi Development Authority on the court’s order.
“Let there be peace,” a Bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said and ordered quashing of all criminal cases lodged against those who indulged in violence during agitation for rebuilding the temple.
Attorney General KK Venugopal said instead of 200 square metres, the Centre had decided to allot 400 square metres for the temple’s reconstruction.
The court asked the Centre to constitute a committee of devotees in six weeks to oversee the reconstruction of the temple.
The Bench made it clear that no commercial activity would be allowed at the site as it was a designated forest area.
The Centre had on October 18 said it was willing to hand over 200 sq m piece of land to a committee of devotees for construction of the temple.
Venugopal had said he had talked to all parties, including devotees and government officials, and the Centre had agreed to give the same piece of land considering sensitivity and faith of devotees. Five of the seven petitioners demanding reconstruction of the temple had agreed to the proposal, he said.
“The entire belief and faith of the devotees of Sant Ravidas is in the site where he stayed… In the interest of peace and harmony we want to return the site to the devotees for construction of the temple,” Venugopal told the Bench.
The Bench had asked parties demanding reconstruction of the temple to submit objections, if any, by October 21, the next date of hearing.
The Supreme Court had on October 4 asked those seeking permission to rebuild the temple in Tughlaqabad forest area to amicably find a better location for it.
Shrine was razed on court order
- Following SC directive on Aug 9, the DDA had razed the temple, leading to protests in Delhi and other cities
- Guru Ravidas, one of the stalwarts of Bhakti movement, has a large following in Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan
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