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SC rejects petition for rebuilding religious places in old Secretariat in TS

Hyderabad: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a PIL for rebuilding religious structures allegedly pulled down during Telangana Secretariat’s demolition. “It is a misconceived prayer. We can’t allow all this under Article 32,” the Court remarked. Article 32 of the Indian Constitution gives the right to individuals to move to the Supreme Court to seek justice when they feel that their right has been ‘unduly deprived’.

The Supreme Court bench made these observations while hearing a plea seeking re-building of religious places, situated within the Telangana State Secretariat Building, that were allegedly pulled down during the demolition of the Secretariat Building. Making it clear that the demolition was permitted by the State High Court, the Apex court said “How can you file an Article 32 here when demolition was permitted by High Court. This has to lie there,” the bench said.

The counsel for the petitioner urged the bench to direct the High Court for expeditious disposal for which the bench refused to make any such directions. The Counsel pleaded with the bench to allow him to withdraw the plea and sought speedy disposal at the High Court. However, the Bench made it clear that it would allow withdrawal of the plea and can’t make any such direction to the High Court. Hence the plea was dismissed as withdrawn.

The petition was filed by Advocate Khaja Aijazuddin, a practicing advocate at Telangana High Court, alleging that two mosques and a temple, situated on Secretariat premises were pulled down. The petitioner wanted that the demolished structures be rebuilt by the government in the same place.

Though the plea was not against the demolition of the Secretariat per se, he averred that the religious places situated therein have existed since a long time and their demolition amounted to deprivation of citizens from fundamental rights enshrined under articles 14, 21, 25 and 26 of the constitution.

However, on July 10 immediately after the damages were noticed, Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao expressed deep anguish over the damage occurred to religious places during the demolition of old buildings at the Secretariat. He assured that the government will take up construction of the temple and the mosque on the secretariat premises on a grand scale. The Chief Minister assured that the government from its own funds will construct temple and mosque without hesitating on cost, and will hand over them to the concerned for management.

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