SC: Uttarakhand Govt. to demolish illegal religious structures on public land till May 31, 2021

The Supreme Court observed that a contract is void if prohibited by a statute under a penalty, even without express declaration that the contract is void

Yesterday, a three-judge bench of Justice Ashok Bhushan comprising of R. Subhash Reddy and M. R. Shah has allowed the demolition of four illegal religious structures on public land in Haridwar, Uttarakhand State. However, the demolition deadline has been extended to May 31, 2021.

In its plea, the State Government of Uttarakhand has averted that the land belongs to the irrigation department. Earlier, the Uttarakhand High Court had taken Suo moto cognizance of the issue and directed the state to demolish all these structures by March 23. But, the State Govt. however has sought extension of time till the conclusion of Kumbh Mela, which the court had refused.

Hearing from both parties, the Court has admitted that it cannot accept the contention that the structures cannot be demolished, as they have been classified as unauthorized structures.

The bench has observed that these structures are unauthorized as these were constructed without permission.

Therefore, the apex court has now permitted the state to demolish the illegal structure by 31 May 2021.

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