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HC stays construction at Saundatti Renuka Yellamma temple

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Ashok S. Kinagi passed the interim orders on a PIL petition filed by Mahendragouda of Bailahongal in Belagavi district.

The High Court of Karnataka on Monday stayed further constructions at the famous Sri Renuka Yellamma temple of Saundatti in Belagavi district for allegedly violating provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act 1958.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Ashok S. Kinagi passed the interim orders on a PIL petition filed by Mahendragouda of Bailahongal in Belagavi district.

It has been pointed out in the petition that documents obtained under the Right to Information Act have revealed that a showcause notice was issued in March 2020 to the executive officer of the temple by the Superintending Archaeologist, Archaeological Survey of India, Dharwad Circle, for carrying out the constructions without obtaining a no-objection certificate from the competent authority.

Notice to temple

The notice issued to the temple clearly states that the Vijayanagara inscription of Krishnadevaraya in the temple is a protected monument and as per Section 20-A of the Act, and the illegal construction being put up on south-west side of the temple should have been stopped within 15 days from the date of the show-cause notice. However, the construction activities are still going on, the petitioner alleged.

RTI information

While pointing out that the information provided under the Right to Information Act by the State’s Department of Archaeology, Museums and Heritage, Mysuru, states that Sri Renuka Yellamma Temple itself is a State Protected Monument, the petitioner has contended that the constructions taken up by the temple management were contrary to the laws.

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