Bengaluru: The High Court (HC) of Karnataka has directed the State Government to ensure implementation of the Supreme Court’s 2013 direction to all States not to grant permission for installation of statues or construction of any structure on public roads, pavements, sideways, and other public utility places.
A Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum passed the order on Tuesday after quashing the permission granted by the State and Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) in 2017 for installation of a statue of Sri Shivarathri Rajendra Mahaswamiji at the Gun House Circle near Mysore Palace.
The Court passed the order after allowing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition filed by Akhila Bharata Kshatriya Mahasabha and Karnataka Rajya Arasu Sangha, Bengaluru, challenging the decision to install the Seer’s statue.
The Bench found that both the March 3, 2017, decision of the Government and August 2018 resolution passed by the MCC to install the statue at the Circle was contrary to the direction of the Apex Court. The HC on January 29, 2018, stayed the Government’s March 2017 decision.
“State Governments shall not grant permission for installation of statue or construction of structure on public roads, pavements, sideways and other public utility places. Obviously, this order shall not apply to installation of high mast lights, streetlights or construction relating to electrification, traffic, toll or development and beautification of the streets, highways, roads etc. and relating to public utility and facilities. The Chief Secretary/Administrator concerned shall ensure compliance of the order,” the Supreme Court had stated in its order.
Refusing to accept the Government’s contention that the spot where the Seer’s statue was proposed to be installed does not come under the definition of public area as per the Apex Court’s order, the Bench, from the map, noticed that the spot is a place where six roads join and the Circle is part of the road.