New Delhi, July 3 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Maharashtra government to remove encroachments over 908 sq.mt area around the historic Haji Ali Dargah shrine within two weeks.
Directing the clearing of all the encroachments spread over 908 sq.mt, as also directed by the Bombay High Court, the bench of Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said: “We are going to take very stern action, if you don’t implement our direction. There is a high court order, now supported by us.”
“Do it now. Demolish unauthorised structures. It is our direction,” Chief Justice Khehar said, warning that “serious consequences will flow if direction is not carried”.
The court also noted that even the Haji Ali Dargah Trust was supporting the removal of encroachments.
“You have to do it, they (Haji Ali Dargah Trust) are helping you do it,” the bench observed.
The court directed the Deputy Collector (Encroachment/Removal) to be present in the court on the next date of hearing.
Deputy Collector (Encroachment/Removal), Colaba, had issued notice on March 22, 2017, for the removal of encroachments.
The court asked the officer to remove the encroachments after Haji Ali Dargah Trust informed the court that it could not clear the encroachments, as directed in the last hearing of the matter on May 9.
The apex court on May 9 asked the Haji Ali Dargah Trust to remove encroachments around the historic shrine, failing which the Joint Task Force (JTF) constituted by the Bombay High Court would clear the area.
The trust managing the shrine built in 1431 had at the last hearing told the court that the shrine was spread over an area of 171 sq.mt and there were encroachments in the area around it.
The trust is managing the shrine since 1930.