Supreme Court refuses to stop demolition of Pracheen Shiv Mandir by DDA

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Allegedly, the temple was founded by a distinguished priest known for establishing 101 Shiv Lingas, with this particular temple being one of those revered sites

The Supreme Court of India has refused to interfere with the demolition of a Pracheen Shiv Mandir situated near Geeta Colony in Delhi.

It is the DDA's case that the Shiv Mandir is situated within the Restoration & Rejuvenation of Yamuna River Floodplain Asita East UP Land.

A vacation bench of Justices Sanjay Kumar and AG Masih today said that the temple was made of cement and mortar and had no indications of being "pracheen".

While refusing the same relief, Delhi High Court, in May had said that there is no doubt that Lord Shiva would be more pleased if the Yamuna River bed and floodplain areas were cleared of all encroachments and unauthorized constructions.

High Court made such observations in a case filed by a registered society against the demolition of Shiv Mandir located in the Yamuna Riverbed.

A society, registered under the Society Registration Act, 1860 as “Prachin Shiv Mandir Avam Akhada Samiti” had filed a writ petition. The society, in September 2023, was notified by the police regarding the directive to demolish the temple. Despite the society's request for a formal notice, they were informed that none was available, and the actions were purportedly based on instructions from the Deputy Commissioner of Police.

Represented by Advocate Kamlesh, the society asserted that Article 25 of the Constitution of India ensured the freedom of religion for all citizens, including the liberty to manage religious matters. Temples and places of worship held profound religious significance for diverse communities, and their protection constituted a fundamental aspect of preserving the right to religious freedom. 

Advocate Kamlesh argued that regular congregations at the temple facilitated interpersonal connections, fostering social ties, mutual assistance, and solidarity during both joyous and difficult times. Festivals and religious observances at the temple provided opportunities for collective involvement, enhancing community cohesion and distinctiveness.

The society contended that no formal written notice or order was served. Instead, the devotees were verbally informed that their Pracheen Mandir would be demolished the following day, with the explanation that another temple was being demolished on that day.

Case Title: Pracheen Shiv Mandir Avam Akhada Samiti vs. Delhi Development