15 days granted to ASI for Inspection, 1 Month To Complete Conservation Work At Mata Mrikula Devi Temple, is upheld by the High Court of Himachal Pradesh through the learned Judge JUSTICE MOHAMMAD RAFIQ and JUSTICE SANDEEP SHARMA, in the case of Court on its own motion. v. State of Himachal Pradesh and others(CWPIL No. 12 of 2020)
Brief facts of the case:
The development occurred in the suo moto case launched in 2020 in response to a report by the Secretary of the District Legal Services Authority of Kullu detailing the deteriorating state of the historically significant temple.
In accordance with a court order issued on April 21, the Director (Conservation), ASI formed a four-member expert committee on April 29 and instructed its members to deliver a report within seven days. The Committee was also asked to produce an estimate for the temple’s preservation. The Committee was unable to accomplish the assignment within the allotted time, so it petitioned the high court for a one-month extension.
However, exhibiting images of the temple, the Amicus Curiae in the case informed the court that the temple is currently in a deteriorated state and that if it is not quickly repaired/restored for conservation purposes, it might collapse at any time.
He also said that the temple’s roof is supported by wooden planks and that both the roof and supporting walls had developed cracks.
Taking note of Amicus Curiae’s arguments, the court instead gave the Conservation Committee 15 days to finish the inspection and generate the estimate, followed by one month to execute the conservation work.
Court further stated that if, in the interim, any harm is occurred to the temple as a result of delaying the conservation work, the Conservation Section of the ASI will be solely liable.
The Kali-dedicated temple of the 11th century is usually believed to have been erected from a wooden block by the Pandavas during the time of the Mahabharata.
JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY – HARILAKSHMI