Madras High Court has refused to postpone the eviction of a temple allegedly built on public land. The court noted that God is omnipresent and his divine presence did not require any specific location.
The Division Bench comprising Justice S Vaidyanathan and Justice D Bharatha Chakravarthy observed, “It is the fanatic who is the root cause of all problems in dividing people in the name of religion.”
The bench added that the petitioner could not usurp highway property, meant for public use irrespective of creed, caste, or religion.
“If the petitioner is so particular in facilitating devotees to worship Vinayagar, it is open for him either to allot his unencumbered land or the land, if any, available to the temple, and thereafter shift the idol to that place,” the bench added.
The petition was filed by a temple trustee S Periyasamy in connection to the notice issued by Tamil Nadu Highways Department to evict a temple in Veppanthattai, Perambalur district of Tamil Nadu.
The petitioner had submitted that the temple has been there for over three decades and was built without impeding the free flow of the public or transportation.
“Even though the petitioner has stated that the temple was constructed three decades ago and the land belonged to the temple, what prevented him from producing necessary documents to establish his case?” the court said.
“The submission that the temple has not caused any obstruction to the public or free flow of traffic throughout and is used solely for the purpose of worship cannot be accepted because, first and foremost, the petitioner has failed miserably to produce documents proving that the land is under the control of the trust,” the bench added.
Apart from that, if the petitioner’s submission is accepted, everyone will encroach on public land and claim that there is no obstruction to any public and, thus, they should be allowed to continue their illegal occupation, the High Court bench added.