SC stays demolition of religious structures

Cuttack: In a major relief for devotees in Cuttack, the Supreme Court on Wednesday put a stay on the district administration’s demolition drive against religious structures constructed illegally on the government land in the millennium city.
Hearing on petitions filed by trustees of the 11 temples, the apex court directed the state government to maintain status quo in case of individual temples.
Sources said the trustees of the temples knocked the SC door challenging the Orissa High Court order passed on January 6, 2011. The petitioner alleged that though Supreme Court had mentioned that temples constructed after September 2009 should be demolished but the Orissa high court, violating the order of the apex court, brought the cut-off date to 1987.
Meanwhile, the SC issued a notice to the state government to file a reply for which it took four weeks time.
On the Shyamashyam Temple Trust’s special leave petition (SLP) seeking compensation from the state government for demolition, the apex court said the plea will be taken up in the next hearing, said the trust’s counsel Suresh Tripathy.
Earlier, the apex court had put a stay on demolition of five temples in the city. Subsequently, the State government had decided to halt the temple demolition drive till further the apex court’s order.