Solicitor General & Amicus Curiae To Inquire Into Eviction Drive Near Puri Srimandir

Puri: In a major development, the Supreme Court today asked the Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta and Amicus Curiae Ranjit Kumar to visit Puri Srimandir and inquire into allegations of unauthorised eviction drive around the temple held jointly by the district administration and Odisha government. This apart, the Court has asked them to apprise it by filing a detailed report in this connection.

Informing about the development, Sree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) counsel Swetaketu Mishra said that the Amicus Curiae and Solicitor General of India will visit Puri on September 9 and 10 to review the implementation of recommendation by BP Das Commission of Inquiry for removal of structures up to 75 metres from the Meghanad Pacheri of the 12th century shrine.

Meanwhile, the Apex Court also quashed two petitions seeking a stay on the demolition drive near the Puri Jagannath temple. The Intercontinental Lawyers’ Association and a resident of Chennai had reportedly filed petitions challenging removal of structures up to 75 mts from the boundary wall of the temple, apart from demanding action against CM Naveen, Puri District Collector, SP and the SJTA chief.

However, SC dismissed the petitions after Advocate General of Odisha stated before the Court that the eviction drive was carried out based on recommendations of Justice BP Das Commission. This apart, the Court has fixed September 17 as the next date of hearing in this matter.

It is pertinent to mention here that after removal of unauthorised structures adjacent to the Meghanad Pacheri, the district administration today began eviction drive for removal of constructions up to 75 metres from the boundary wall of the shrine. The drive was carried out in presence of 21 magistrates and as many as 30 platoons of police force.