If each sadhu, guru allowed to build shrine on public land, disastrous consequences to follow: Delhi HC

The High Court has said that it would lead to disastrous consequences jeopardising larger public interest.
If each sadhu, guru allowed to build shrine on public land, disastrous consequences to follow: Delhi HC

NEW DELHI: If each sadhu, baba and guru is allowed to build a shrine or samadhi sthal on a public land and use it for personal gains, it would lead to disastrous consequences jeopardising larger public interest, the Delhi High Court has said.

The high court said naga sadhus, who are devotees of Lord Shiva, are ordained to live a life of complete detachment from the worldly affairs and seeking property rights in their names does not conform with their beliefs and practices.

"In our country, we might find thousands of sadhus, babas, fakirs or gurus in different parts of the landscape and if each one is allowed to build a shrine or samadhi sthal on a public land and thereby, continue to use it for personal gains by the vested interest groups, that would lead to disastrous consequences jeopardising larger public interest," Justice Dharmesh Sharma said.

The high court's observations came while dismissing a petition by Mahant Naga Baba Shankar Giri through his successor seeking to direct the district magistrate to demarcate the property of shrine of Naga Baba Bhola Giri at Triveni Ghat, Nigambodh Ghat here.

The petitioner claimed that he has been in possession of the property well before the deadline of 2006, as set by the Delhi Special Laws Act.

The grievance of the petitioner was that in February 2023, the officials of the Flood Control and Irrigation Department of the Delhi government demolished various jhuggies and other buildings in the vicinity of the property due to which he was under an imminent threat of demolition of the shrine.

The court dismissed the petition, saying it was bereft of any merits and that the petitioner has no right, title or interest to continue to use and occupy the property.

"It is but apparent that he is a rank tress-passer and merely for the fact that he has been a cultivator for 30 years or more does not bestow with him any legal right, title or interest to continue to occupy the subject property," the high court said.

It appears that the petitioner has constructed two rooms with tin shed and other amenities at the side, besides a shrine of the revered baba, who died in 1996.

But then, there is nothing on the record to suggest that the place is of any historical significance or dedicated to the public for worship or for offering prayers to the revered deceased baba,” the high court added.

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