MANOHKHORGADE AND ANOTHER Vs. STATE OF MAHARASHTRA AND ORS
HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY
Manohkhorgade And Another
STATE OF MAHARASHTRA AND ORS
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B.R. Gavai, J. -
(1.) Rule in Writ Petition Nos. 3446/2007,3951/2018, 4480/2018, 4497/2018, 4507/2018, 4769/2018, 6121/2018, 6122/2018, 6123/2018, 6124/2018 and 6125/2018. Rule made returnable forthwith. Respective counsel waive service for the respective respondents. These writ petitions along with Civil Application No.1809 of 2018 in Writ Petition No.6177 of 2006 are heard finally by consent of learned counsel appearing for the parties.
(2.) Writ Petition No.6177 of 2006 has been treated by this Court as a public interest litigation to monitor the issue of implementation of the directions issued by the Hon'ble Supreme Court. The other writ petitions which are being disposed of by the present order are filed by various individuals/institutions/societies contending therein, that the notices issued to them by the Corporation and the proposed demolition of the structures on the properties belonging either to the Government or on public utility land of the layouts or private lands are sought to be demolished in contravention of the Government Resolution dated 05.05.2011. Civil Application No.1809 of 2018 has been filed on behalf of the respondent - Nagpur Municipal Corporation seeking directions to itself to hear and decide 967 objections received by it within a stipulated period.
(3.) On 25.03.2008, the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India taking note of the newspaper item published in Times of India, Ahmedabad Edition, dated 02.05.2006, took suo motu cognizance of the illegal public structures erected on public places, roads, footpaths. The Hon'ble Supreme Court of India has been thereafter considering the issue with regard to removal of illegal religious structures which have come up by way of encroachments on public lands. Various orders have been passed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court from time to time. Certain directions were issued by the Hon'ble Supreme Court on 29.09.2009. The matter again came up before the Hon'ble Supreme Court on 07.12.2009 wherein the following directions were issued:-
"This Court on 29th September, 2009, after taking into consideration the letter dated 19th September, 2009, sent by the Union Home Secretary to the learned Solicitor General of India, we passed the following order:-
"We have heard the learned counsel for the parties. Looking to the far-reaching implications and consequences of the orders of this Court, on the oral request of the learned Solicitor General of India, we deem it appropriate to implead all the States and the Union Territories as respondents to this petition. The Registry is directed to issue notices to all the States and the Union Territories within three days. The Union of India is directed to supply the entire set of papers to all the Standing Counsel appearing for the State Governments and the Union Territories.
The States and the Union Territories may file replies within four weeks and the Union of India is granted liberty to file rejoinder within two weeks thereafter.
As an interim measure, we direct that henceforth no unauthorized construction shall be carried out or permitted in the name of Temple, Church, Mosque or Gurudwara etc. on public streets, public parks or other public places etc.
In respect of the unauthorized construction of religious nature which has already taken place, the State Governments and the Union Territories shall review the same on case to case basis and take appropriate steps as expeditiously as possible.
In order to ensure compliance of our directions, we direct all the District Collectors and Magistrates/ Deputy Commissioners in charge of the Districts to ensure that there is total compliance of the order passed by us. They are directed to submit a report within four weeks to the concerned Chief Secretaries or the Administrators of the Union Territories who in turn will send a report to this Court within eight weeks from today.
List this matter for further directions on 7th December, 2009."
All the States and the Union Territories have been served. Despite service, most of the States and Union Territories have not filed affidavits as directed by this Court. In the interest of justice, we grant one more opportunity to the Chief Secretaries/Administrators of the respective States and Union Territories to file affidavits. Let the same be filed within six weeks, failing which the concerned Chief Secretaries and Administrators shall remain present in Court on the next date of hearing.
In case the Chief Secretaries and the Administrators have not issued circulars to all the Collectors and the District Magistrates of the Districts, it shall be issued within two weeks from today.
The Chief Secretaries, in consultation with the respective Governments are directed to frame the policy in respect of existing unauthorized construction of religious nature, which had already taken place. This Court directed the respondents to review this same on case to case basis. Let the policies be formulated by all the States and the Union Territories within four weeks from today.
We are reiterating that the Chief Secretaries, the concerned District Magistrates and the Collectors/Deputy Commissioners incharge of the Districts must ensure total compliance of our order. Any breach in this respect shall be viewed seriously by this Court.
We direct the Chief
Secretaries/Administrators of all the States and Union Territories to circulate copies of the order dated 29th September, 2009 and this order to all the District Magistrates and Collectors/Deputy Commissioners, other public bodies and local bodies.
We direct the learned Standing Counsel appearing for various States and the Union Territories to ensure that all copies of the affidavits are filed in this Court on or before 27th January, 2010 with an advance copy to the learned Solicitor General of India, who is requested to get all these affidavits tabulated and submit a report to this Court on or before 2nd February, 2010.
Place this petition for further directions on 4th February, 2010. Looking to the gravity of this matter, we direct that no order or direction inconsistent to our orders, shall be passed by any other Court in the country.";
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