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Judiciary

Delhi HC slams MCD, Delhi Police for illegal construction near protected monument ‘Nizamuddin ki Baoli’

By Shreya Agarwal      08 February, 2024 04:38 PM      0 Comments
Delhi HC slams MCD Delhi Police for illegal construction near protected monument Nizamuddin ki Baoli

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has slammed the Delhi Police and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) for their ‘jugalbandi’ in failure to act against illegal construction in a sealed guest house located within 100 metres of the ‘Nizamuddin ki Baoli’ and the Barakhamba Tomb in Delhi.

The Baoli being a centrally protected monument, the Court observed that the matter might in fact have to be investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) itself.

The Court was hearing a plea filed by NGO Jamia Arabia Nizamia Welfare Education Society, seeking to halt and demolish the illegal construction of three additional floors being carried out in the guest house.

Expressing its displeasure against the same the bench of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora, the Court remarked, “Encroachment on public land is akin to dacoity. It is the worst form of construction, (as) the public is losing land (and) the state is losing (its) assets. This is something very, very serious. The government has lost possession of its valuable land.”

It then urged agencies to use newer technologies like drones or satellite images to monitor construction activities and encroachments on public lands.

It was submitted by the petitioner that besides this, illegal operation of guest houses was rampant in the Nizamuddin West colony - meant to be a residential colony - and that the same was only due to corruption of, and nexus between, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), the MCD, and the Station House Officer (SHO) of the Nizamuddin Police Station.

The Court also directed the MCD to take action against erring officials of the DDA, who had failed to work on the ground despite intimation by the police and the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) about illegal construction of the guest house (partly on DDA land).

The Court then went on to ask, “How is it that with so many authorities working in Delhi, something goes amiss between the jurisdictions? I can see two authorities asserting their rights. How is it that your officials have not reacted to the report? Why are your officers not working on the ground?”

It added, “This cannot happen without someone’s support. If not support, tacit connivance has taken place. Let’s not mince words.”

Earlier, the Court had slammed the civic authorities saying that the Capital had turned into a “slum” due to rampant illegal constructions.



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