Read Judgement: Sanjeev Kumar Sharma v. State of Punjab and others 

LE Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 29, 2021: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has dismissed a plea claiming that a temple in Punjab’s Bathinda town was, in violation of municipal laws, being constructed in a residential locality and also sought action against government officers for giving illegal sanction for construction of the religious structure.

“From the facts observed, it is apparent that efforts are being made to stop the construction by indulging in a number of litigations which is not appropriate or encouraged. Therefore, this Bench is of the view that the petitioner has tried to abuse the process of the Court,” stated the bench of Justice Anil Ksheterpal.

The bench observed that on careful reading of the order passed by the Bathinda Municipal Commissioner, it is apparent that majority of the owners of the building are running their business on the same street. In the previous writ petition, petitioner no.1- Jiwan Lal Garg, has been shown to run a grocery store.

“In the said street/locality, a number of other commercial establishments are already operating. In such circumstances, the assertion of the petitioner that the building plan has been sanctioned in a residential area is not factually correct,” the bench held.

“As regards the argument of the learned counsel of the petitioner that the temple would cause grave inconvenience, it may be noted that no material to that effect has been placed on the file. The Municipal Commissioner has already noticed that respondent has left an open space of 27 feet x 20 feet on the front, whereas 27 feet x 15 feet on the rear side,” it said.

The Bench further said the building plan has been sanctioned in accordance with the amended norms issued by the Punjab Government. “Respondent has also complied with the requirements of the Punjab Municipal Building By-laws, 2018. Hence, there is no substance in the argument,” it held.

According to the bench, the officials of the Municipal Corporation, Bathinda, have knowledge of the present factual position. They are expected to have knowledge of the law as well. In these circumstances, while exercising the writ jurisdiction, the Bench said it does not find it appropriate to stay the temple construction at this stage.

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