The Kerala High Court has ordered district judges to immediately implement the Supreme Court verdict to evacuate unauthorised religious institutions built on encroached public places.

Supreme Court had pulled up the Kerala High Court for not implementing the order, which was passed in September 2009.

The apex court had directed all States and Union Territories in its verdict dated 29 September 2009 to ensure that “no unauthorised construction of any religious institution, including the temple, church, mosque or gurdwara, etc shall be allowed on public street/public space.”

Following this, the apex court pulled up States and Union Territories for their negligence to comply with its directions to file affidavits spelling out steps they have taken for evacuation of illegal religious structures from public roads and highways.

It also asked the States to come up with a project for this purpose within six weeks. Though affidavits and plans were submitted, the evacuation procedures did not begin in Kerala.

If the project is further delayed, the complete responsibility of this will fall on the chief secretary, collectors and district magistrates. When the same case came up for hearing in the Supreme Court on 31 January, all parties had agreed to enforce the order.

Collector, district magistrates, commissioners and chief secretary have been appointed to ensure that the apex court order is followed. The High Court will directly supervise the evacuation process of unauthorised religious institutions.

If the eviction process is delayed, the chief secretary and the collector will have to take responsibility regarding this matter.