Srinagar: The J&K High Court on Wednesday directed the Divisional Commissioners of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh to obtain a report from all Deputy Commissioners with respect to religious structures that have encroached on public land, including streets, parks and public places.
The court directed the officials to indicate the location of the encroachment, area encroached, and details of the encroachers.
Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Puneet Gupta also asked the authorities to compile the information within six weeks from today.
Further the court directed that the information shall be placed before the Chief Secretaries of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh, who shall then take a policy decision in this regard.
The court asked the Registrar General to take steps for obtaining the copy of the Miscellaneous Application titled Union of India vs the State of Gujarat and Others and other relevant documents from the Supreme Court of India before the next date of hearing.
The court noted that in the said application, the Supreme Court of India had directed that “no unauthorised construction shall be carried out or permitted in the name of Temple, Church, Mosque or Gurdwara etc on public streets, public parks or other public places.”
The apex court had said, “In respect of the unauthorised construction of religious nature which has already taken place, the State Governments and the Union Territories shall review the same on a case to case basis and take appropriate steps as expeditiously as possible.”
The said order of 2009 was remitted to respective High courts for supervision and implementation.
The court also noted that a separate PIL may have been registered in the Jammu Wing of the court with regard to encroachment of religious structures in Jammu province.
“The Registrar General shall consolidate the PIL which may have been registered in the Jammu Wing for hearing with the present PIL. A copy of this order shall be placed on the record of the PIL at Jammu as well,” the court said.
The court will hear the matter next on November 9.