SC refuses PIL to re-build ‘demolished’ religious places in TS Secretariat

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain public interest litigation (PIL) seeking to re-build the religious places, situated within the Telangana State Secretariat Building, that was allegedly demolished with the Secretariat Building.

A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan refused to entertain the plea saying, “It is a misconceived prayer. We cannot allow all this under Article 32.” The plea was then withdrawn by the petitioner.

Khaja Aijazuddin

The PIL was filed by advocate Khaja Aijazuddin, a practising lawyer at Telangana High Court. He had approached the apex court alleging that two mosques and one temple, situated within the vicinity of the Secretariat Building were damaged during the demolition process.

The plea said that even though the petitioner was not concerned with the demolition of the Secretariat, the religious places situated therein have existed since a long time and their demolition amounts to deprivation of citizens’ fundamental rights enshrined under Articles 14, 21, 25 and 26 of the Constitution of India.

The government is statutorily bound to protect these religious places and it is incumbent upon them to rebuild the structures, at the same place where they previously stood, the plea said.

Earlier, the Telangana High Court had refused to interfere with the state government’s decision to modify/ demolish the old Secretariat Building to construct a new one. Thereafter, an appeal was filed in the top court against the High Court order, which was also dismissed. 

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