Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, Jan 21:
The district and sessions court today stayed the order issued by the civil judge court (Junior Division) for demolition of the Samadhi (cremation place) of former Odisha chief minister Biju Patnaik.
The court, while adjudicating an appeal filed by the Puri Municipal authorities, directed the district administration not to take any action in this regard till further orders.
The court fixed the next hearing on February 6.
The municipal authorities had moved the district and sessions court on January 17 challenging the December 27 order of the civil judge court (Junior Division) which had denied a stay on its previous order to demolish the samadhi.
The civil judge court, in its order, had directed the Municipal authorities to remove the encroachment and unauthorised construction, including the ‘samadhi’ of Biju Patnaik on the premises of Swargadwar, within three months.
The court had also said it would initiate steps in this regard if the authorities failed to remove the Samadhi and other encroachments from Swargadwar. It also directed the civic authorities not to erect any structure, including memorials, pandals or statues, which might change the nature, character, location or extent of the land in question other than for public cause or for effective use of it by the community.
The judgment of the civil judge court had come in response to a petition filed by Ramesh Singh, a native of Puri town in 1999 in which he had alleged that the local civic body had illegally constructed the memorial at Swargadwar.
The petitioner had also contended that the memorial of any person cannot be built at Swargadwar, which is a public place.