Read Order: Lakhbir Singh v. State of Haryana 

LE Staff

Chandigarh, August 18, 2021: Disposing of a PIL by the group Sikh Sadbhawna Dal, seeking directions to the authorities of the state of Punjab to take necessary steps to protect and preserve ancient structures that have been recently unearthed during excavation near the Golden Temple in Amritsar, the Punjab and Haryana High Court directed the petitioner to pursue the matter with the relevant authorities.

The Sikh group, in the Public Interest Litigation, alleged that the respondent-authorities were not taking necessary steps to protect and preserve ancient structures that have been recently unearthed during the excavation being carried out by the State and that they are also not taking necessary steps to prevent any further construction in and around the said ancient archaeological structures. 

The plea submitted that though a report has been submitted by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), further steps pursuant to the same are not being taken up by the authorities.

Additional Solicitor General of India S P Jain as well as Additional Advocate General, Punjab P S Bajwa submitted that in case the petitioner pursues the matter with the respondent-authorities, the authorities will look into the same and take necessary steps in accordance with law, if so required.

“In view of the statements made by learned Additional Solicitor General of India as well as the learned Additional Advocate General, Punjab, the petition stands disposed of,” said the Bench of Chief Justice R S Jha and Justice Arun Palli. 

“It is made clear that this Court has not expressed any opinion on the merits of the case and therefore, the respondent-authorities would be at liberty to examine the matter keeping all facts and facets into consideration and thereafter accept or reject the same in accordance with law,” the Bench said.

The remains of an old building structure were found during excavation recently in the Golden Temple complex in Amritsar. There has been a clash going on between religious groups in favour of and opposed to further construction near the newly unearthed ancient structure. 

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