New Delhi: The Supreme Court will hear on April 1 a petition filed by Tushar Gandhi, the great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, to stop the redevelopment of Gujarat's Sabarmati Ashram. A bench of Chief Justice (CJI) N V Ramanna, Justice Krishna Murari and Justice C T Ravikumar passed the order while allowing a plea for an early hearing by the petitioner's counsel Indira Jaising on Friday. Advocate Jaising said before the Supreme Court, "The construction work will start, so there is a need for a virtual hearing in the matter.
The petition said that the manner in which the Gujarat government's redevelopment plan has been prepared will adversely affect the ancient nature of the ashram. The sanctity and simplicity of the ashram may be affected. The great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi had filed a petition in the top court against the Gujarat High Court's decision. The high court had on November 25, 2021, refused to entertain Tushar's plea. The state government had assured the court that it would not touch the three major attractions in the one-acre area of the main ashram. The high court had said that the government has assured that there will be no change in the existing ashram built in an acre area and it will be maintained as it is. Thus all the fears and apprehensions of the petitioner are baseless.
The Gujarat government wants to develop the Sabarmati Ashram spread over 54 acres and 48 heritage properties in its vicinity as world-class tourism hubs. Tushar Gandhi, the great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, has challenged the Gujarat government's Rs 1,200-crore Gandhi Ashram Memorial and Prestige Development Project.