Delhi High Court: Prathiba M. Singh, J., laid down directions regarding Kalkaji Temple in Delhi which attracts a lot of devotees.

Instant matter pertained to the Kalkaji Mandir.

It was submitted that on 27-10-2021 that one of the baridaars, that the police are not providing complete cooperation for the removal of encroachments and the management of devotees for darshan in accordance with the Order dated 27-09-2021.

Mr Sanjay Lao appeared along with Sub-Inspector Mannu Dev virtually and presented a status report to the Court.

In the report, it was submitted that as per the status report all action required to maintain the law and order in the Mandir premises were being taken and a sufficient number of personnel were already posted at the Mandir premises.

Counsel for Vipin Bharadwaj, Smita Mann presented a video to show that there had been some manhandling of devotees by certain police constables who were posted in the Mandir.

Mr Lao submitted that after the said video was brought to the notice of the higher authorities, the Delhi Police took sufficient steps to endure that such actions were not repeated in the future.

High Court on considering the overall sentiment expressed by the parties and keeping in mind the interest of the devotees at the Mandir, the following directions were issued:

(i)  The DCP of the Delhi Police, stationed in the concerned area, shall ensure that adequate personnel are posted at the Kalkaji Mandir to ensure that there is proper and regulated entry and exit of the devotees, to and from the Mandir, as also to ensure that no untoward incident takes place.

(ii)  Considering that there are many female devotees who visit the Mandir, adequate number of female constables of the Delhi Police shall be posted at the Kalkaji Mandir.

(iii)  The DCP concerned, of the Delhi Police, shall pass appropriate directions to ensure that a single set of constables are not posted at the Mandir for a long period of time. The police personnel who are posted shall be changed at least twice a month.

Unauthorized encroachment by the shopkeepers and removal of encroachments and unauthorized construction

As per the report of the Administrator, none of the shopkeepers could show any proper tehbazari licenses issued by any of the civic authorities or the baridaars.

Further, Administrator also reported that various shopkeepers started residing in the premises of the Mandir and have made encroachments into the passageway. It was clarified that 107 shops had already been sealed after the shopkeepers were allowed to remove their belongings.

The Bench noted that none of the shopkeepers, who were in illegal occupation of Mandir premises, can remain in possession.

The shopkeepers or their families also cannot reside in the Mandir complex. The same is impermissible and is nothing but unauthorized encroachment and trespass into the Mandir’s premises.

 Further, the administrator with the cooperation of the Delhi Police and SDMC, was permitted to take action for removal of all the unauthorized encroachments within the Kalkaji Mandir premises within 2 weeks.

If any of the shopkeepers and illegal residents in the Mandir premises are entitled to seek alternate accommodation, the DUSIB may consider their request and provide alternate premises on humanitarian grounds.

 Misconduct on the part of baridaars

As per the Administrator’s report, there are serious allegations of severe misconduct by two individuals namely- Mr Nakul Bhardwaj and Mr Lokesh Bhardwaj. As per the said report, these two individuals have also misled the Administrator and made false statements. They are also stated to have impeded and obstructed the implementation of the directions passed by this Court.

Hence, Court issued notice to Nakul Bhardwaj and Lokesh Bhardwaj.

Medical Centre at the Kalkaji Mandir 

Court opined that a Medical Centre should be run continuously at the Kalkaji Mandir premises to cater to the devotees who visit the temple round the year.

Sanitation facilities

There are three toilet complexes that are currently stated to be functional in and around the Kalkaji Mandir premises. The cleaning of the said toilet complexes is stated to have been outsourced by the SDMC to various agencies.

Court directed Sanitary Inspector or any other responsible officer, shall inspect the toilet complexes at least twice a day for the next 15 days, to ensure the maintenance of the cleanliness and hygiene of the toilet complexes.

Thereafter, the number of inspections that were held can be reduced, and surprise periodic inspections shall be carried out by the SDMC.

Garbage Disposal

Bench directed that the SDMC shall conduct an inspection by 20-11-2021 after consulting with Administrator in regard to his convenience, to ensure that adequate steps are taken to ensure garbage disposal at the Mandir premises, and the same takes place at least three times a day. The SDMC shall also ensure that adequate garbage bins are provided on the premises for collection and disposal of garbage.

Potable Drinking Water for devotees

Delhi Jal Board was directed shall send a team to the Kalkaji Mandir, to inspect and to take immediate steps for laying down a temporary pipeline for uninterrupted supply of drinking water to the devotees in the Mandir, as also for running water supply to the toilet complexes.

Opening of the second bank account

Since the Re-Development of the Kalkaji Mandir would be a major project, and an architect has already been appointed by this Court for submitting a Re-Development plan, the Administrator is permitted to open a separate account called the Kalkaji Mandir Re-Development Fund in the Delhi High Court, which shall be in the control of the Registrar General.

In the said account, only donations made by the members of the public or any devotees for the purposes of the Re-Development of the Kalkaji Mandir shall be accepted. All other amounts being deposited by the baridaars or even the tehbazari holders, if any, shall be accepted only in the main account, which was the first account that has been opened by the Administrator.

 Delhi Fire Service

It was brought to this Court’s notice that the Mandir premises also needed to be audited by the Delhi Fire Department in order to take care of any emergency. Hence, Court issued notice to the Delhi Fire Service Department to conduct an inspection of the Mandir premises and submit a report of steps that would be required for ensuring access for fire tenders, and for the maintenance of the fire safety in and around the Mandir premises.

Matters to be listed for further hearing on 7-12-2021. [Neeta Bhardwaj v. Kamlesh Sharma, 2021 SCC OnLine Del 4991, decided on 15-11-2021]

Advocates before the Court:

Mr. R.K. Bhardwaj with Mr. Dheeraj Bhardwaj, Advocates. (M:9312710547)

Mr. Neeraj Bhardwaj, Advocate.

Mr. Rohit Kishan Naagpal & Mr. Dipanshu Gaba, Advocates.

Ms. Garima Anand, Advocate.

Mr. Anuroop P.S, Advocate for R-46 to 49. (M:9582818838)

Mr. Humayun Khan, Advocate (M:9811177317) for Mr. Pradeep Kumar Gulia, Advocate for R-59 & 57.

Mr. Rajesh Kumar Gupta, Advocate for LRs of R-58.

Mr. Kamal Kumar, Advocate for R-22 & 25. (M:9136452240)

Mr. Krishan Gopal Chokkar, Advocate.

Mr. Jitender Verma, Advocate for R-1 Mr. Anuroop P.S., Advocate for R-1. Mr. Mayank Yadav, Advocate for Applicant.

Mr. Neeraj Bhardwaj, Advocate for R-3.

Mr. Thakur Sumit, Advocate.

Mr. Vishal Bhardwaj, Advocate in FAO 36/2021.

Mr. Kamal Kant Bhardwaj, Advocate.

Mr. Vishal Maan and Mr. R.S. Verma, Advocate

Mr. Vipin Bharadwaj, in person

Mr. Kush Bhardwaj, Advocate. (M:9891074686)

Mr. Luv Bhardwaj, Advocate.

Mr. Sanjay Bhardwaj.

Mr. R.K. Gupta, Advocate.

Mr. R.K. Bhardwaj, Advocate.

Mr. K.G. Chhokar, Advocate. (M:9896030124)

Mr. Avinash Chaurasia, Advocate.

Mr. Avinash Chaurasia, Advocate. (M:9811841262)

Mr. Yoginder Singh, Advocate.

Mr. Sarvesh Bhardwaj, Advocate.

Ms. Rashmi B. Singh, Advocate.

Mr. Aly Mirza & Mr. Prabhash Chandra, Advocates.

Ms. Sangeeta Bharti, Standing Counsel for DJB (M-9811112863).

Mr. Amit Gupta, Advocate for Applicants. (M:8307429100)

Mr. Amit Rawat, Advocate. (M:8307429100)

Mr. D.K. Singhal, Advocate.

Mr. Manish Choudhary, Advocate.

Mr. K. K. Tyagi, Advocate.

Mr. Sunil Fernandes, Standing counsel BSES with Mr. Shubham Sharma, Advocate.

Mr. Harsh Khirwal, Advocate.

Ms. Samapila Biswal and Ms. Shambhavi Kala, Advocates for Ld. Administrator.

Ms. Smita Mann, Advocate.

Ms. Vivek Kumar Singh & Mr. Yashvir Kumar, Advocates. Mr. Arun Birbal, Advocate for SDMC.

Mr. S. Sasib Hussain, Advocate.

Mr. Sanjay Lao, ld. Standing Counsel (Criminal), GNCTD. Mr. Pardeep kumar Gulia, Advocate.

Mr. Thakur Sumit, Advocate.

Mr. Parvindar Chauhan, Advocate for DUSIB

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