Guru Ravidas temple: SC asks parties to come back to it with amicable solution for alternate site

The Supreme Court on Friday asked the parties involved in a plea seeking permission to rebuild the Guru Ravidas temple in Delhi’s Tughlaqabad forest area to come back to it with an amicable solution on a better location for the temple.

It posted the matter for further hearing on October 18.

The temple was demolished by the Delhi Development Authority following the court’s direction.

The top court said it respects everybody’s sentiments but the law has to be followed.

A bench comprising justices Arun Mishra and S Ravindra Bhat said Attorney General K K Venugopal is also appearing in the case and all parties can hold discussion to find an amicable solution on a better location where the temple can be built.

“You find an amicable solution and come back to us. Any day we can pass the order. We respect the sentiments of everybody on the earth but we have to follow the law,” the bench said.

The court had earlier questioned the maintainability of a plea asking as to how could it entertain the petition filed under Article 32 of the Constitution seeking permission to construct a temple demolished on its orders.

The petition filed by two former members of Parliament — Ashok Tanwar and Pradeep Jain Aditya — had sought enforcement of their right to worship which, they alleged, “was being denied to them due to demolition” of the temple and ‘Samadhi’ in Tughlaqabad.

The former parliamentarians had said that several facts were suppressed during the hearing of a suit before the apex court for removal of encroachment of surrounding areas.

Their counsel had submitted that there were over six crore followers of Guru Ravidas and they have a fundamental right to worship at the said place.

On August 27, the two former parliamentarians from the Congress party had moved the apex court seeking its nod to re-construct the temple, saying it is a pious site and prayers were held there for the last 500-600 years.

The petitioners had said that they are devout followers of Guru Ravidas and used to pray regularly at the site.

The DDA had demolished the temple pursuant to the orders of the apex court, which had on August 9 observed that “serious breach” had been committed by Guru Ravidas Jayanti Samaroh Samiti by not vacating the forest area as earlier ordered by the top court.

The temple’s demolition had led to a series of protests in places such as Delhi, Punjab and Haryana and the apex court had on August 19 directed the authorities in these areas to ensure that no law and order situation is created politically or otherwise.

The top court had earlier warned against politicising the temple’s demolition and said it would initiate contempt proceedings against those provoking protests and demonstrations.

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