NewDelhi: Days after suggesting that the iconic 108-feet tall Hanuman statue at Karol Bagh in the national capital be airlifted, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked if prayers from illegal encroachments on pavements would reach the god.
“Will prayers reach the god if you pray from illegal encroachments on pavements? What is its sanctity,” a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said, warning that everyone responsible for unauthorised constructions, including the temple, “will be dealt with”.
The court was hearing a case of removing encroachments from around the 108-feet tall Hanuman statue.
The court asked the municipal corporation of north Delhi, under whose jurisdiction the area falls, to produce records pertaining to the construction of the road and the pavement adjoining which the illegal encroachments have sprung up.
The direction was issued after Delhi government additional standing counsel Satyakam, appearing for the Public Works Department (PWD), told the bench that the road and the pavement was the responsibility of the municipal corporation.
He said while one paw of the statue fell on the pavement, the rest of the structure was primarily located on land belonging to the Delhi Development Authority (DDA).
Thereafter, the court asked the authorities why commercial activities and car parking was permitted in the area and said it will prosecute the corporation and DDA officials during whose tenure the statue and other encroachments came up.
Satyakam, who also appeared for the Delhi Police, said the temple, including the statue, was being maintained and operated by a trust whose bank statements were being examined by the agency.
In November, the court, while hearing the PIL filed by an NGO, had suggested “airlifting” of the massive 108-feet statue.
Using the reference of United States where entire skyscrapers have been airlifted, bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar asked Delhi civic body to speak to Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal.
The bench had also directed Karol Bagh SHO, the central range DCP and PWD’s chief engineer to submit an inquiry report on people responsible for erecting the idol and list of people who funded the unauthorised constructions and in charge of encroached areas.