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Summary of Question:My Gurdwara...
Date Posted:Wednesday, 3/24/1999 9:30 AM MDT

My question is a very complex one.

My gurdwara, which was built some ten years ago is a great part of my Sikh upbringing and life. Without this institution in my life, i dont know where i'd be right now! But something has come up.....the local department of transportation is planning on taking the whole property of the gurdwara and in its place having a storm drainage installed for the widening of the local route! I'm shocked at this because, 1. this is holy ground for some 1000's of people, 2. it is under a religious heading, and 3. this is my 2nd home!! My question is it legal for the government to take away property which is under a religious institution? And what can i do to stop them if it is legal?

Reply 1

I have forwarded your question to a lawyer, and he needs to know in where this is happening to find out if there is some legal recourse that you can take. Here is his initial response:
"Before I can respond I need to know where this is happening. What country, state, city etc. Typically the government in the U.S can seize property for highways, railroads etc. by paying the property holder and exercising eminent domain. However, there are ways to challenge this procedure."


Reply 2
Sat Nam, If you are in the United States, it is true that the government can take property under "Imminent Domain" laws. They do have to pay compensation. The one thing you can do is to make sure the steering commitee of the gurdwara knows they can challenge the amount of money the government will pay. The government will usually tell you how much they are going to pay, but if you research the law, you may find you can get them to pay as much as 3 or 4 times the amount they are saying. At least it would go a long way toward establishing a beautiful new gurdwara.
Sometimes the Guru works in ways that don't seem obvious to us at first. Maybe a new Gurudwara will inspire attract even more people to Guru's feet.


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