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Former Congress MP Files Contempt Plea in SC Over Delay in Construction of Guru Ravidas Temple

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PTI

Last Updated: April 18, 2020, 22:13 IST

A representative image.

A representative image.

Tanwar moved the Supreme Court on Thursday claiming that none of the directions given by the court on October 21, 2019 and November 25 last year have been implemented by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA).

New Delhi: Former Congress Member of Parliament Ashok Tanwar moved the Supreme Court Thursday seeking contempt proceedings against the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the Delhi government for allegedly "wilfully and deliberately disobeying" its orders allowing construction of a permanent structure for the Guru Ravidas temple in Tughlaqabad.

The temple was demolished by the Delhi Development Authority following the apex court's August 9 last year direction which had observed that "serious breach" was committed by Guru Ravidas Jayanti Samaroh Samiti by not vacating the forest area as earlier ordered by the top court.

Later, the top court had passed direction on November 25 last year allowing construction of a permanent structure for the temple in Tughlaqabad forest area instead of a wooden porta cabin as suggested by the Centre.

In October it had accepted the Centre's revised offer of 400 square metre land in the Tughlaqabad forest area for construction of the temple and had directed the government to constitute a committee within six weeks.

Tanwar moved the apex court on Thursday claiming that none of the directions given by the court on October 21, 2019 and November 25 last year have been implemented by the authorities.

"The delay in construction of Guru Ravidas Temple is causing a lot of anguish and hurting millions of people, not only in India but across the world. The followers of Guru Ravidas had expected justice which unfortunately has not been meted out to them despite the orders of this court," the plea said.

The plea also alleged that the committee, as mandated by the order of the court in the case, is "nowhere in sight".

The plea mentioned that the apex court, in its November 9, 2019 judgement in the Ayodhya case, had directed for formation of a trust and allocation of land for Mosque.

It said that trust has already been formed in terms of the judgement in the Ayodhya case but no committee has been constituted in the Guru Ravidas Temple matter despite the apex court's directive.

"This in itself is patent discrimination and shows the neglect of the government towards the Scheduled Caste mostly who are ardent believers in Guru Ravidas," the plea said, adding that the "matter pertains to fundamental right to worship and is of utmost religious importance".
Tanwar said he had not approached the court earlier as Delhi Assembly elections were going on and "the issue could have gained political colour, which the petitioner wants to avoid at all costs".

"The idol of Guru Ravidas is yet to be restored at the site," the plea said, claiming that authorities concerned have "deliberately disobeyed" the court's orders and are liable to be prosecuted for the same.

Tanwar had earlier filed a petition in the top court seeking right to pray, restoration of idols and construction of Guru Ravidas Temple in Tughlaqabad.

In its November 25 last year order, the top court had also allowed the plea seeking enclosure of the Guru Ravidas pond within the temple's fence so that it becomes a part of its complex.

It also observed that devotees of Guru Ravidas will no longer face any problems and the agencies will cooperate in the construction of the temple.

The court had modified the October order which had mentioned construction of a wooden porta cabin temple.

The temple's demolition had led to a series of protests in Delhi, Punjab and Haryana and the apex court had on August 19 last year directed the authorities in these areas to ensure that no violations of law and order take place for political benefits or otherwise.
first published:February 20, 2020, 18:11 IST
last updated:April 18, 2020, 22:13 IST