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Politics

Patna High Court stays demolition of 100-year-old Sultan Palace, asks Bihar government to respond

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Bihar government had announced that the state cabinet has given its nod to build three five-star hotels in Patna, including one on Beer Chand Patel Road where the palace is built

Patna: The Patna High Court has sought a reply from the Bihar government on its decision to dismantle the historic Sultan Palace to build a five-star hotel, even as it stayed the proposed demolition of the iconic 100-year-old landmark in the heart of the city.

The stay on the demolition of the Palace, built in 1922 by barrister Sir Sultan Ahmed, was granted by the court during an online hearing on Friday on a PIL filed recently, according to lawyers of the petitioner.

The move has brought much-needed relief to heritage lovers and a large cross-section of the citizenry which had been demanding the authorities roll back the decision and instead restore and reuse the palace.

A division bench of the Chief Justice of the High Court Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice S Kumar stayed the proposed demolition of the Sultan Palace,” the member said.

The court has sought a reply from the Bihar government as to why it has planned to demolish a 100-year-old heritage building, asking it to furnish a response in eight weeks.

Petitioner and lawyer Amarjeet, 28, said one of the judges in the bench also cited the example of Rajasthan, where old heritage buildings have been restored, repurposed, and reused as hotels or for other purposes, and celebrated.

Citizens in early August had taken their protest online, trending #SaveSultanPalace to highlight the vulnerability of the historic landmark.

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What James Prinsep and his 200-year-old map reveal about Gyanvapi

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James Prinsep's lithograph of the Gyanvapi site in his 1831 book (left) and the disputed complex in 1991.

James Prinsep, because of whom the world knows of emperor Ashoka, lived in Varanasi for 10 years. In 1831, the British scholar drew a lithographic map of the old Kashi Vishwanath temple, and showed how Aurangzeb’s Gyanvapi mosque stood on it. That will now be a crucial piece of evidence.

At a walking distance from Kolkata’s Eden Gardens is the Prinsep Ghat on the banks of the Hooghly. One gets a close view of the Vidyasagar Setu and can take a boat ride on the River Hooghly from Prinsep Ghat.

The ghat is named after James Prinsep, a British numismatist and archaeologist, who made significant contributions to India’s historiography. He came to India when he was 28 and was the youngest fellow of the British Asiatic Society.

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In address to Parliament, President Droupadi Murmu hails Ram Mandir, says strong government India’s advantage

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According to the President Murmu, the construction of Ram Mandir and the removal of Article 370 were significant in the country's efforts to overcome past challenges and invest maximum energy for the future. (Photo/Videograb@DDNational)

strong and stable government would lead to rapid development at the domestic level and could place the country as “Vishwa-Mitra” (friend of the world) during the period of upheaval in the global scenario, President Droupadi Murmu said on Wednesday in her last address to the joint session of Parliament ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

In her almost 90-minute long speech, President Murmu, who listed the achievements of the Narendra Modi-led governments in the last decade, said that January 22, the day the newly constructed Ram temple in Ayodhya was consecrated, was a defining moment.

“There come junctures in the history of civilizations which shape the future for the coming centuries. There have been many such defining moments in the history of India too. This year, on January 22, the country witnessed a similar epochal moment. After waiting for centuries, Ram Lalla has now been enshrined in his grand temple in Ayodhya,” the President said in her address.

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‘Shocking’ overcrowding: SC orders states, UTs to plan new jails for next 50 yrs

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Delhi has 16 central jails with over 20,000 prisoners as against a sanctioned capacity of 10,026 inmates. (HT file)

Court was informed that while overcrowding was observed across all categories of jails in most states, there were some which had “super overcrowding”

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed states and union territories to accord “top priority” to the problem of overcrowding in jails, finding the actual occupancy of jails across the country to be “shocking” and “quite worrying” and directed committees to be set up in each district within a week to prepare a roadmap on the number of jails needed to cater to prison population for the next 50 years.

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