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HC seeks implementation of 2011 resolution on illegal shrines

Bombay High Court

Mumbai :  The Bombay High Court today directed Maharashtra government to ensure that it implements a May 2011 resolution for appropriate action against illegal religious structures in terms of regularization, relocation and removal.

A division bench of Justices A S Oka and V L Achiliya sought a time-bound schedule from the government for demolition of such shrines that have been constructed without requisite permission.

The government had on May 5, 2011 issued a GR following an order passed by the Supreme Court in 2009 directing all state governments to initiate steps towards illegal shrines.

The GR had prescribed a “well-defined” scheme for appropriate action against unauthorized religious structures in terms of regularization, relocation and removal. It also suggested a three-tier committee be set up state-wise, district level and in corporations, including in Mumbai, Thane and Pune for relevant action.

Anil Sakhre, advocate for the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, told the court that it has completed the process of identification of all illegal shrines in the city and placed a report before the committee for further action.

Government pleader D N Nalavade told the court that a meeting was recently convened on the issue and sought two weeks’ time to inform the court of the steps it has taken.

The court has posted the matter for hearing on October 17.

Earlier, the court was told that as per information collected from seven municipal corporations as on February 1, 2015, there were 6336 unauthorized structures, of which 207 had been regularized, 179 demolished and three relocated.

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