Odisha

Supreme Court Allows Odisha Govt Panel To Decide On Encroachment By Temples

**Bhubaneswar:** The Supreme Court while conducting its final hearing on the sensitive temple demolition case of Odisha, said that the religious restructure committee formed by State Government is free to take a decision on demolition of unauthorised temples.

A division bench of Supreme Court comprising Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Anita Roy on Tuesday conducted the final hearing of sensitive temple demolition matter from Cuttack in Odisha.

“We will abide by the Supreme Court’s decision and frame our future course of action (on demolition of unauthorised temples),” Law Department Minister Pratap Jena said.

The case was stayed by the apex court in May 2013. This was done on the basis of applications of a few temples including Khannagar Sai Temple and Chahata Rama Nandita and Gayatri Sakti pith and the Panchamukhi Hanuman temple in Cuttack.

In 2013, the demolition drive started during which 36 temples including Cuttack Gundicha temple were demolished. Some temples like Khan Nagar Sai Temple, Chahata Rama Nandita, Gayatri Sakti pith and Panchamukhi Hangman Temple had challenged the order in SC.

They had challenged it on the ground that the Orissa HC cut up date of 1987 Record of Rights (ROR) violated Supreme Court order issued on September 29, 2009 passed in Gujarat case.

On 6th January, 2011 Division Branch of Orissa HC delivered judgment and directed to list the number of unauthorised temples which are not in the ROR published in 1987. Accordingly, 207 temples were listed in Cuttack and thousands of temples all over Odisha.

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