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Ravidas Temple – SC says ‘sentiments aside, law to be followed’

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New Delhi, Oct 4, 2019 –

The Supreme Court on Friday, while hearing a plea on reconstruction of the Guru Ravidas Temple, said it respects the “sentiments of everyone” but the law has to be followed, and asked the parties to come up with a solution for a better location for building the temple.

Following the top court’s order, the temple that was situated in the Tughlaqabad forest area, was demolished by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) on August 10.

The court made it clear that the temple was demolished for being on forest land and cannot be restored.

“We respect sentiments of everybody but we have to follow the law,” a bench of Justices Arun Mishra and S. Ravindra Bhat assured the petitioners seeking reconstruction of the temple that it will do the best that could be done under the law.

The court asked all parties to hold consultations with the Attorney General and to come out with a good solution amicably.

The bench said that after all parties come out with better land, better location and a better way to build the temple, it will pass an order.

Additional Solicitor General P.S. Narsimha said the temple can be shifted and “it is not alien to our culture to worship a forest”.

The court was hearing the petition filed by Ashok Tanwar, the Congress’ former Haryana unit chief, and former Haryana Minister Pradeep Jain Aditya seeking reconstruction of the Guru Ravidas temple in the Tughlaqabad forest area.

In the plea, the devotees of Guru Ravidas sought enforcement of the right to worship, which they argued had been denied to them due to the razing of the temple.

Seeking restoration of the idol of the Guru removed from the site, they also claimed the land was given by Sultan Sikander Lodhi to Guru Ravidas in 1509.

They said the site was pious and was being worshipped for 500-600 years. It was protected as per the provisions of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991.   (Agency)

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