HC stays Gokhale hall's demolition

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Chennai, Sep 10 (UNI) The Madras High Court has stayed the demolition of the Gokhale Hall, the heritage building in the city.

Passing an interim order on a Public Interest litigation (PIL), a First Bench comprising Chief Justice A K Ganguly and Justice F M Ibrahim Kalifulla directed the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) to visit the place and conduct a detailed survey of the building and submit a report whether the structure could be repaired, keeping its heritage character intact.

The INTACT would also examine whether the portion, which had been razed, could be reconstructed in tune with its original structure.

In doing so, it may take the assistance of historian S Muthiah, the bench underlined.

The court requested him to associate himself with the work of INTACH so far as the building was concerned. After making inspection and examination, INTACT should submit its report along with the opinion of Mr Muthiah within three weeks. In the meantime, the Chennai Corporation Commissioner should ensure that no demolition took place in the building.

In his PIL petition, E Jayakumar of Old Washermanpet and a life member of YMIA sought a direction for taking steps to protect and preserve Gokhale Hall as a heritage building.

He said the building was of great significance not only for the present generation, but also for future generations.


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