New Delhi, Aug 24 : The Supreme Court on Monday declined to entertain a plea seeking directions to the Centre and Telangana government to pass an executive order or resolution in the state Assembly or in Parliament by giving a commitment for rebuilding religious structures – two mosques and a temple – within the Telangana Secretariat complex building in Hyderabad.
A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and R. Subhash Reddy queried the petitioner if he had moved the High Court before coming to the apex court. The petitioner said he did not move the High Court yet as his petition did not pertain to the demolition of the Secretariat, instead it was for rebuilding of religious structures around it, which were demolished. The bench noted that the matter is not fit to be entertained under Article 32. The top court allowed the petitioner to withdraw the plea.
The plea filed by advocate Khaja Aijazuddin contended that the Secretariat complex is spread across 25 acres and housed the Office of the Chief Minister of Telangana, Council of Ministers and bureaucrats. “It is respectfully submitted that within the Secretariat complex existed a temple namely Nalla Pochamma temple which is situated in one of the blocks i.e. A Block, and two mosques or masjids namely Masjid Dafaatir-e-Muatamadi located adjacent to the ‘C’ Block and Masjid-e-Hashmi Located near the ‘D’ Block”, said the plea.
The petitioner argued that the temple and the two mosques were within the Secretariat building complex, Hyderabad and the same is under no dispute so far as the existence of the religious places.
The petitioner said the Telangana government has decided to demolish the Secretariat building complex, entire structures existing therein, which resulted in the filing of PILs in the Telangana High Court. On June 29, the High Court dismissed all the PILs paving the way for the demolition of the Secretariat complex building.
“The Chief Minister of Telangana has just merely apologised for the demolition of the religious structures but never assured the citizens by committing to rebuild the religious places which were demolished. It is a settled Principle of Law once the religious structure exists it remains forever as the same is enshrined under Article 26 of the Constitution of India”, said the plea.
The petitioner contended that authorities concerned who are statutorily bound to supervise the functioning and protection of the temples have failed to act upon and remained silent so far.
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