Relocation of Ambedkar statue deplored
Express News ServiceFirst Published : 12 Feb 2010 03:59:00 AM ISTLast
Updated : 12 Feb 2010 06:28:47 AM IST
CHENNAI: It is most unfortunate that the statue of Dr B R Ambedkar,
which was erected at a non-controversial place in Old Pattinam village
in Cuddalore district, was sought to be shifted to a Dalit settlement.
It is highly deplorable that a national leader is sought to be
considered as a leader of a community, disregarding his contribution
to the citizens of India irrespective of their caste, religion and
community, the Madras High Court observed on Thursday.
The statue should be erected at its original place and unveiled in the
presence of the local District Collector and the SP before this
monthend, the First Bench comprising Chief Justice HL Gokhale and
Justice SS Sasidharan ordered.
The bench was allowing a public interest writ petition from local
resident T Amirthalingam, who prayed for a direction to the
authorities concerned to reinstall the statue at the original place.
Commending the efforts taken by the petitioner on the issue, the bench
directed the government to pay Rs 20,000 to him towards costs and to
recover the same from the officials concerned who permitted the
shifting of the statue.
The bench also made certain clarifications on the GO dated November
20, 1998 of the Municipal Administration and Water Supply department,
which prescribed guidelines for erection of statues in public places.
The bench said that the person, society or body of institutions
desirous of erecting any statue should apply to the local District
Collector for permission. The application must specify the location
along with the sketch and the survey numbers. The Collector should,
after obtaining necessary information from the local Tahsildar and the
police inspector, forward the application to the Home Secretary, who
in turn should obtain the sanction of the government. In no case
should the erection of the statue be initiated or carried out without
the prior sanction of the government, the bench said.
The Collector should also obtain affidavits from the persons who
wanted to erect statues. If the Collector found that the persons were
not reliable, it was open to him to reject their applications. He
should also maintain a list of such permissions granted and the
statues erected in his district. The government should also insist
that the statues be made of bronze.
The conditions stipulated with regard to shifting of statues should be
scrupulously followed as it was a sensitive issue, the bench added.
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