DEHRADUN: Uttarakhand High Court on Thursday while hearing a petition related of restoration of 'Samadhi' of Adi Shankaracharya in Kedarnath which was damaged in the 2013 natural disaster directed the state government to complete the restoration in one year.
The court also granted liberty to Ajay Gautam, the petitioner in the matter to approach the court if the work is not completed in one year.
"The honorable court asked the state government the reason of the delay to which the state goverment replied that they need one more year. The court expressing dissatisfaction asked for blue print saying that how much time can this take. The state government also said that honorable Prime Minister of India is personally interested in the restoration of the 'Samadhi' to which the court said that then this must have been done within stipulated time period," said Gautam.
The matter was heard in the division bench of Chief Justice RS Chauhan and Justice Manoj Tiwari.
Gautam also added that the state government in its affidavit also cited Covid-19 induced lockdown as the reason for the delay.
"I told the honorable court that between year 2013-2017 nothing was done. Even after the high court passed orders in year 2018 to complete the restoration within one year the work was not done. I requested the court to direct the state government to complete restoration in time bound manner," added Gautam.
The state government on Thursday itself submitted affidavit citing reasons for delay in the reiteration work of the 'Samadhi' and requested the court to grant one year time to complete the work.
On December 30, 2020 the HC issued showcause notice to the state government in the matter.
The HC on October 10, 2018 while treating a letter written by Gautam Delhi as a public interest litigation about non-maintenance of samadhi of Adi Shankracharya, which was swept away in the Kedarnath tragedy in June, 2013 had directed the State government to restore the samadhi of Adi Shankracharya "positively within a period of one year from today at Kedarnath".
Notably, the division bench of acting chief justice Rajiv Sharma and Manoj Kumar Tiwari had remarked in the order, " He (Adi Shankaracharya) retired to Himalayas at the young age of 32 years and entered a cave near Kedarnath. Kedarnath is a Hindu pilgrimage site in the State of Uttarakhand. The Samadhi of Adi Shankaracharya was built near Kedarnath temple. Samadhi was also revered by the pilgrims visiting Kedarnath. Samadhi of Adi Shankracharya Ji swept away in the Kedarnath tragedy which took place in the month of June, 2013. Thereafter, it has not been repaired."
"The District Administration is also directed to ensure that the local traditional hill architecture is taken into consideration while repairing/restoring the Samadhi of Adi Shankracharya Ji and also to ensure that the architecture merges with the surrounding landscape," the court ordered.