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Telangana HC issues notices on plea for rebuilding of religious structures in secretariat building

Telangana HC issues notices on plea for rebuilding of religious structures in secretariat building

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Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], September 9 (ANI): The Telangana High Court on Wednesday issued notices to Central Government, State Government, Waqf Board and the Commissioner Endowments on a PIL seeking re-building of the religious places, situated within the Telangana State Secretariat building, that were allegedly torn down during demolition of the building.
The court has asked the Assistant Solicitor General of India and Advocate General of Telangana to file their counter-affidavits in the matter by October 1, 2020. The matter has now been listed for hearing on October 8, 2020.
The petition has been filed by Khaja Aijazuddin, an advocate practising at Telangana High Court, alleging that two mosques and one temple, situated within the vicinity of the secretariat building were damaged during the demolition process.
In his plea, he has contended that the government is statutorily bound to protect these religious places and it is incumbent upon it to rebuild the structures at the same place where they previously stood.
"While hearing plea pertaining to demolition of religious places, the bench of Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy has issued notice to the Central Government, State Government, Waqf board and the Commissioner, Endowments. The court directed the Assistant Solicitor General of India and Advocate General of Telangana to file their Counter affidavits on or before October 1, 2020, and posted the case for hearing on October 8," Aijazuddin told ANI.
The bench took note that mandatory compliance of the provisions of Waqf Act 1995 was not followed by the government while demolishing the mosques and hence there is a violation of rule of law, he said.
"The temple too was demolished without compliance of Endowments Act and the same was violated resulting in the demolition of the temple," he added.
Aijazuddin had on August 24 approached the apex court which had refused to entertain public interest litigation (PIL) seeking to re-build the religious places, situated within the secretariat building that were allegedly demolished with the building.
Earlier, the Telangana High Court had refused to interfere with the state government's decision to modify/ demolish the old secretariat building to construct a new one.
Thereafter, an appeal was filed in the top court against High Court order, which was also dismissed holding that the High Court had already rendered the decision on merits. Accordingly, the demolition work commenced, allegedly damaging the religious places situated therein. (ANI)

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