Tuesday, August 31, 2010

SC dismisses plea against war memorial

SC dismisses plea against war memorial

Staff Reporter
BANGALORE: The Supreme Court on Monday paved the way for the construction of the National War Memorial at the Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain Park in Bangalore.

The court dismissed a Special Leave Petition (SLP) by the Krishna Apartment Owners Association questioning the construction of the memorial in a park at Vasanthnagar.

The association and its secretary, Dr. Sudheer Pai, had approached the Supreme Court after the Karnataka High Court dismissed their public interest litigation against the construction of the memorial.

Questioning the High Court order, the petitioners said in the Supreme Court that a Division Bench comprising Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice Mohan Shantagoudar on June 4, 2010 held that the proposed war memorial was in public interest and that it was a matter of pride for the residents of the city.

The petitioners alleged that the State Government had violated the Karnataka Government Parks (Preservation) Act, 1975. Moreover, Section 4(2) of the Act prohibits the Government from alienating land in parks.

Threat to parks

They said the State and its agencies had a duty to maintain parks and not to fell any trees.

However, the project would lead to felling of trees in the park. It said no construction measuring 1,000 sq m. or more can be built in the park.

Advocate-General Ashok Harnahalli appeared for the State, while former Advocate-General Uday Holla appeared for the National Military Memorial Committee.

Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Chandrasekhar is the Chairman of the National Military Memorial Committee, which is implementing the project.

The memorial will be built at a cost of Rs. 12 crore and it comprises a museum, underground meditation hall, pathway, amphitheatre and display areas for the armed forces.

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