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Allahabad High Court seeks reply from Regional Archaeological Officer on sealing shop without deciding objection

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The Allahabad High Court has sought a reply from the Regional Archaeological Officer, Regional Archaeological Unit, Gurudham Mandir Campus, Varanasi as to by what authority they have sealed the shop without deciding the objections of the petitioner.

The Division Bench of Justice Manoj Kumar Gupta and Justice Chandra Kumar Rai passed this order while hearing a petition filed by Shahoor Zafar Saiyyad.

The case of the petitioner is that his grandfather was allotted a shop by the Archaeological Department and deed in writing was duly executed on his behalf. The petitioner claims to be in possession of the said shop. On an earlier occasion, the petitioner has approached the Court by way of Writ Petition, which was disposed of with a direction to the competent authority to decide the objection filed by the petitioner.

The case of the petitioner is that without deciding his objection, respondents have sealed the shop in question.

The Court noted that the Counsel for the petitioner has placed for our perusal a letter written by Superintendent Archaeological, Patna Circle dated 10.05.2022 to Superintendent Archaeological Survey of India, Sarnath, 27th Circle of Archaeological Survey of India, Varanasi mentioning that the matter comes under his jurisdiction.

It is submitted that consequently respondent no 3 has to take decision in the matter but which has not been taken so far. On the contrary, the respondents have proceeded to seal the shop.

The Court directed the Regional Archaeological Officer, Regional Archaeological Unit, Gurudham Mandir Campum, Varanasi (respondent no 3 ) to file his affidavit, disclosing:-

(i) Whether any decision has been taken in compliance of previous order of the Court, or not, and

(ii) On the basis of what authority, the shop of the petitioner has been sealed.

The Court further directed that the counsel for the petitioner to serve a copy of the order upon the Additional Solicitor General of India, so that it is duly communicated to respondent no 3. Registrar (Compliance) is also directed to communicate the order to respondent no 3 within three days.

The Court has fixed the next hearing of the petition on June 15, 2022.

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