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Posted at: Aug 13, 2019, 8:02 PM; last updated: Aug 14, 2019, 10:27 AM (IST)

Protests against order for demolition of Guru Ravidas Temple: SC warns of contempt

A three-judge Bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra says SC verdicts can’t be politicised

Satya Prakash
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, August 13

As many parts of Punjab witnessed protests and bandh organised by Dalit groups against the Supreme Court’s recent order to demolish Guru Ravidas Temple in Delhi, the court on Tuesday warned that it would initiate contempt proceedings against those involved.

“What do you think?...This is a Supreme Court order…You can’t organise protests like this…You can’t politicise our orders,” a three-judge Bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said after being told that some people were organising protests against the demolition order.

The top court had on April 2 ordered that the premises built on forest land had to be vacated and peaceful possession handed over to the DDA.

However, it was not done and on August 2, a false statement was allegedly made on behalf of office bearers of Guru Ravidas Jayanti Samaroh Samiti that the premises had been vacated.

After being told about it, the top court on August 9 directed the DDA to remove the structure by August 10 and asked the Commissioner of Delhi Police to provide protection for the purpose.

The Chief Secretary of Delhi was also directed to ensure compliance of its order.

It had also sought personal presence of office bearers of the Samiti and contempt notices be issued to them, if the order was not complied with.

On Tuesday, the court was told that the structure had been removed but some people were agitating against it in Punjab.

This angered the Bench, which said it would not tolerate such behaviour.

“Once the Supreme Court has passed the order, you can’t indulge in politics over it…You can’t politicise an order of the Supreme Court,” said Justice Mishra.

The Bench requested Attorney General KK Venugopal to assist the court on this issue so as to settle the legal issue once for all.

The counsel for the Samiti tried to tell the Bench that the protests had been organised in Punjab and not in Delhi but the Bench wasn’t impressed.

Three days after a Guru Ravidas Temple in Delhi was demolished, Dalit groups in Punjab organised protests against the Supreme Court’s order resulting into the demolition.

There were reports from Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala and Phagwara that bandh call evoked a good response with shops and commercial establishments remaining closed.

As a precautionary measure, the state administration in these districts had asked schools and colleges to remain closed in view of the bandh call.

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