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Kalkaji temple evictions: Supreme Court refuses to interfere with Delhi HC order to clear temple premises of unauthorized occupants

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The Supreme Court on Friday refused to interfere in the order passed by the Delhi High Court which had directed Delhi Police to evict unauthorized occupants from the premises of Kalkaji Temple, as they may pose a safety and security threat to the influx of devotees.

The matter was listed before the bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and Surya Kant. 

In its order passed by the Delhi High Court, Justice Prathiba M. Singh had said: “The eviction of the said occupants also has a sense of urgency in view of the fact that the Navratras will be commencing from April 2, 2022 and proper arrangements have to be made for the entry and exit of the lakhs of devotees who visit the Kalkaji Mandir during the Navratra period.”

“The Kalkaji Mandir premises sees a steady and high influx of devotees during the Navratra period and the continued occupation of the jhuggis and dharamshalas by the occupants would pose enormous threat to the safety and security of all the devotees, for whom elaborate arrangements would have to be made by the Administrator.”

Also Read: Sabarmati Ashram redevelopment: Supreme Court to hear Tushar Gandhi plea against plan on April 1

The High Court in its order had noted,

“the unauthorized occupants of Jhuggis and occupants of dharamshalas who are 142 and 46 in number respectively, are directed to cooperate with the eviction process, as they have chosen not to avail of any of the options which have been offered to them in terms of the order dated 15th March, 2022. Administrator, along with other agencies, is free to engage sufficient manpower or direct the deputation of the required manpower for the purpose of enabling the eviction of the unauthorized occupants of jhuggis and occupants of dharamshalas from the Kalkaji Mandir Premises.”

The Court had directed to start the eviction process on March 24, 2022 and further directed the authorities and officials of DDA, SDMC, DUSIB, Ms Meenu Chaudhary, Joint Commissioner of Police, Southern Range, Ms Esha Pandey, DCP, South-East District, Delhi, and SHO , Kalkaji, to cooperate in this regard, including the baridars and pujaris who may be currently enjoying the bari in the Kalkaji Mandir.

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