The Supreme Court on Tuesday said God never intended to obstruct footpaths or encroach upon public land and warned chief secretaries of states and Union territories of serious consequences if they did not comply with its orders directing removal of religious structures which came up on pavements and public land after September 2011.
A bench of Justices Gopa la Gowda and Arun Mishra was peeved as not a single state had filed response to its March 8 order directing them to comply with various interim orders passed by the apex court from time to time on this issue.
The bench said, “None of the states are doing anything to comply with the SC’s directions. God never intended to obstruct footpaths and pavements or encroach upon public land. Persons building religious structures on public land and footpaths are insulting god.”
The court had on September 13, 2011 said it had undertaken the exercise primarily to ensure that “henceforth no public land, public park or public street is encroached for constructing religious structures”.
“All collectors and district magistrates in the country are directed to meticulously ensure that no further land is encroached in their respective districts. The district magistrates and collectors must also ensure that no commercial activity is carried out from unauthorised structures on public land,” it had said.
The district magistrates were directed to send their reports every month to the chief secretary of the state regarding fresh encroachment and status of existing unauthorised structures.”The chief secretaries, in turn, will file affidavits before this court once in three months on regular basis,” the court had directed.
The bench of Justices Gowda and Mishra found that none of the states had complied with its interim orders and were taking the matter lightly by seeking time to file even the court-mandated quarterly status reports. “This is the attitude of the chief secretaries despite the Supreme Court’s directions. Are our orders passed for keeping in cold storage? The chief secretaries have no respect for the highest court. We will show them what the court can do.They do not deserve any leniency,” the bench said.