Soon after the Modi government agreed to give Guru Ravidas Temple devotees the same site where Ravidas temple was demolished a few months back in South Delhi, the Supreme Court has given its consent for the same.
Supreme Court on Monday also agreed to allow construction of a shrine to Guru Ravidas, revered by the Dalits, in south Delhi, on a 400 square metre plot of land at the same site where a Ravidas temple stood before it was demolished in August on the orders of Supreme Court.
Moreover, barring any commercial activity in the area in and around the place earmarked for the temple, the apex court has ordered the Central government to set up a committee within six weeks for the construction.
According to reports, the Centre offered to give back the same site to rebuild the shrine to ensure peace and harmony amongst the Dalit community which follow Saint Guru Ravidas.
In the last hearing, the Supreme Court had asked the stakeholders involved in the Ravidas temple controversy to deliberate on the issue with the lawyers and law officers and devise a solution to build a new temple at an alternate site.
The Supreme Court bench comprising of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Ravindra Bhat said that the Court will pass orders after the parties place a solution before it. The court asked the parties to find an amicable solution on a better location where the temple can be built.
“You find an amicable solution and come back to us. Any day we can pass the order. We respect the sentiments of everybody on the earth but we have to follow the law,” the bench said.
The temple was demolished by the Delhi Development authority following Supreme court’s orders as the 15th-century shrine was located in a protected forest. Following the demolition, large scale protests were organised by members of the Dalit community who follow Saint Guru Ravidas. The followers of the Saint Ravidas believe that Guru Ravidas had stayed at the temple site after it was given to him in 1509 by Sikander Lodhi.
In their plea, the petitioners have contended that the site has religious significance for over 500 years, even before the Government of India or DDA came into being. The petitioners argue that the government, therefore, cannot say that the temple and the samadhis of Guru Saint Ravidas are encroaching upon the Government land.
The petitioners had urged the top court to restore the Ravidas Temple at the Tughlaqabad site.