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Law dept favours prosecution of Shiv Sena MP: Maharashtra govt to HC on illegal shrines issue

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Bombay High Court AVMaharashtra’s law and justice department has recommended prosecution of Shiv Sena MP Chandrakant Khaire for allegedly obstructing demolition of an illegal temple in 2015, the state government informed the Bombay High Court on Friday.

Khaire, a Lok Sabha member from Aurangabad, had allegedly abused a tehsildar and prevented a demolition squad from razing the illegal shrine in Walunj on October 29, 2015, as per a plea filed by a social activist before the court.

The demolition was part of a statewide drive to raze illegal shrines in accordance with a Supreme Court order.
During a hearing into the matter by a bench of Justices A S Oka and M S Sonak, the state government Friday sought time till Monday to take a decision on the law and judiciary department’s recommendation on Khaire’ prosecution.

The government’s sanction for prosecution would pave the way for the police to file a charge sheet against Khaire. The high court is monitoring compliance of directions given in its October 2016 judgement in a PIL filed by Society for Fast Justice and activist Bhagwanji Raiyani.

The PIL has sought implementation across the state of the Supreme Court’s 2009 order on acting against illegal shrines in public places.

The high court, during earlier hearings, had observed that the Maharashtra government was yet to take a decision on granting sanction to prosecute Khaire, though the incident involving him took place on October 29, 2015.

Shiv Sena is part of the BJP-led ruling alliance in the state, but has often been critical of the NDA governments at the Centre as well as in Maharashtra.

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