The Allahabad High Court has directed the Uttar Pradesh Government and other officials, to ensure that no religious structure in any form, shall be allowed/ permitted to be raised on public roads which belong to State. The Court has also observed that and if any deviation or disobedience on the part of concerned officials is found in implementation of the directions issued by Court in this regard, they shall be personally responsible and would be held liable for criminal contempt of Court.
The Court has also asked the Officials to remove any religious structure that were raised in public places in last five years. The Court also asked the State Government to make out a plan so as to ensure that public roads are not obstructed creating hindrance in the smooth flow of traffic/movement of public due to observance of religious activities.
The Division bench comprising of Justices Sudhir Agarwal and Rakesh Srivastava, issued certain directives to the Government and officials of the State, in a petition filed by residents of Dauda Kheda complaining about inaction of the Government authorities in not stopping some private individuals who are encroaching upon a public pathway by raising construction of a temple and attempting to encroach upon the public land.
The Court observed “There is no fundamental or legal right to encroach upon a public road (including highway), street etc. and raise construction of any kind thereon. These unauthorised and illegal activities cause hindrance and interruption in free flow and movement of traffic including foot walkers. Every citizen has a fundamental right of movement and this cannot be allowed to be infringed by a few violators in public and apathy of State authorities. In our view, those who create such obstructions as also those who perpetuate it by taking care/ managing such structures and also those who fail to take any action in law, all deserve to be taken to task and make responsible and accountable for their respective misdeeds.”
Following directions are issued