HC forbids alienation of disputed Swargadwar land, makes Shankaracharya a party

Cuttack: In a landmark order, the Orissa High Court on Tuesday issued an interim order forbidding alienation of the disputed land at Swargadwara in Puri and made Shankaracharya a party in the case. The court passed the order after hearing a petition in this regard.

“We filed the petition praying for demolition of illegal structure on encroached Swargadwara land and requested the court to declare the fake documents void. After hearing the petition, the bench has made Shankarachayara of Govardhan peeth a party in the case,” lawyer of the petitioner Ashok Mohapatra said.

The petitioner Abhisek Das had made chief secretary, Revenue secretary, Puri municipality, Endowment Commissioner, PKDA, RDC (central), Puri Collector, SP, and tehsildar, a party in the case. However, the Hindu seer was also made a party in the case  since 30 acres of land in question were in the name of Govardhan peeth in 1899.

Lawyer Ashok Mohapatra of Govardhan peeth received the notice and appeared on behalf of Shankaracharya.

“The record of rights of the land was in the name of Shankaracharya between 1899 and 1927. After Jagannath Temple Act came to force, the government said the land would be vested as per OERT act, but temple administration claimed that the land will go to the record of temple as per Section 5 of Jagannath Temple Act. During this dispute, some influential politicians, bureaucrats and others encroached upon the land and constructed hotels, lodges and other structures on the land”.

“As the case remained inconclusive, Sankaracharya did not take any legal action against the encroachers. So, the court today made us a party in the case,” said Mohapatra.

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