List of 20 religious structures encroaching public spaces submitted to HC

Gangtok, 28 Apr:

After a Public Interest Litigation was filedseeking removal of religious structuresencroaching public places, as many as 20 religious structures have been identified in East and South districts of Sikkim,in the first phase.

The Amicus Curiae, on High Court directions,has submitted a list of 20 religious structures situated in public places.

Acting on the report of the Amicus Curiae, the division bench of the High Court of Sikkim headed by Chief Justice Satish Kumar Agnihotri and Justice MeenakshiMadanRai directed the District Collector, East,to initiate action after issuance of notices to the concerned persons manning these institutions or places and submit a report as to whether these structures are unauthorisedencroachments on public places or streets within three weeks.

The list includes two monasteries,one in East district and onein South, while the rest are mandirs of which Hanuman mandirsnumber the highest.

The bench has also directed the Amicus Curiae to inspect the remaining places in East and South as well as West andNorth districts within a period of four weeks and submit a report.

It may be mentioned that, the bench had pulled up the state government for their lackadaisical approach in failing to respond to court directions in a time boundmanner and imposed costs of Rs25,000 recoverable from the officers whohave failed to take any initiative on the court's order.

The state government informed the bench on 25 April, earlier this week that the fine imposed was recovered from the officers responsible for the failure to act.