SC asks Gujarat HC to examine plea by Mahatma kin challenging Sabarmati Ashram redevelopment
The petitioner had expressed fear that the redevelopment would change the physical structure of Sabarmati Ashram and corrupt its simplicity and frugality which embodied the ideology of Mahatma Gandhi
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Gujarat High Court to examine the plea by Tushar Gandhi, great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, challenging the HC's decision to redevelop the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad.
The top court said that it is not going into the merits of the case.
“We are of the considered view that it would be appropriate for the High Court to decide upon the issues which are raised in the petition after furnishing to the state of Gujarat an opportunity of filing a comprehensive affidavit dealing with various facets of the matter,” the bench said.
“The High Court having disposed of the matter summarily without calling for a report from the state of Gujarat, we are of the view prima facie that the matter be required to be restored to the High Court… we allow the appeal without going into the merits of the issues which were raised before the high court and set aside the impugned order…” it added.
The court noted that both Senior Advocate Indira Jaising, appearing for Tushar Arun Gandhi, and Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Gujarat government, agreed that the matter can be sent back to the High Court.
The petitioner had expressed fear that the redevelopment would change the physical structure of Sabarmati Ashram and corrupt its simplicity and frugality which embodied the ideology of Mahatma Gandhi, thus making it diametrically opposite to Gandhian principles. The petitioner said that with the nature of redevelopment and over-sized involvement of the government authorities in the conception and execution of the project, the ashram might lose the Gandhian ethos.
(With agency inputs)