SC directs authorities to halt construction near Ashok Chaitya

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, January 21:

The Supreme Court today directed the Ministry of Population and Environment, Department of Archaeology, Lalitpur Sub-Metropolitan, Lalitpur District Administration Office and the Namuna Machindra High School in Lagankhel to immediately halt the construction of a school building in the historical place of Sapta Patal and preserve such areas.

A division bench of Chief Justice Hari Prasad Sharma and Paramananda Jha issued the mandamus order to the authorities. The bench observed that no one has the right to encroach upon any historical place. The verdict came in response to a public interest litigation filed by advocate Bhoj Raj Ayer on August 22. Challenging the construction of the building in Sapta Patal, near Ashok Chaitya in Lalitpur Sub Metropolition City, Ward No 15, Lagankhel, and citing the area’s historical and religious importance, the advocate and some other locals had moved the apex court.

The apex court also directed the authorities to continue the age old practice in the area where every year after the Rato Machindra Jatra, priests of the Mimnath Guthi organise a religious ceremony near the Batuk Bhairab Temple. On the occasion, a pair of pigeons is also set free to convey the message to the king of heavens that the Jatra has been completed. A pair of fish also used to be released in the pond where the construction is being carried out.