Illegal encroachments cannot be allowed anywhere: HC

NEW DELHI
11 Jul 2017

Illegal encroachments or unauthorised construction cannot be allowed anywhere in the national capital, whether it is a temple, a mosque or a church, the Delhi High Court today said.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar also ordered that only preserve the old structures would be preserved and the new ones will have to be demolished. "Even if there are illegal encroachments or unauthorised constructions in mandir (temple), masjid (mosque) or church, they cannot be allowed to continue. Law has to be enforced and only the old structures will be preserved," the high court said, adding that "no old structures will be touched". The court's observation came during hearing of a plea by an Imam of masjid Ilahi Khan, inside the Amir Khusro Park near Sundar Nagar in South Delhi, who sought a stay on demolition of the structure on the ground that it was an old mosque. Taking note of this, the bench said it will ask the authorities to do chemical testing to find out since when the mosque has been there. "We are painfully ensuring that the law is enforced," the bench said and asked the agencies to file an affidavit stating when was the last repair work done for masjid Ilahi Khan at Amir Khusro park located within the Nizamuddin Dargah complex. It also sought details about its existence and said if it was notified as a Waqf property, it will be protected. The Acting Chief Justice further said the court was making every endeavour to restore the glory of the Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah as it was "when we use to visit that place". The court asked the police and the civic bodies to ensure that all encroachers are removed from the pavements and dividers near and opposite the Amir Khusro park. Earlier, the bench had made it clear to the authorities and the encroachers that the park has to be preserved and no one will be allowed to do any illegal construction inside it. The court had refused to grant relief to a man against an anti-encroachment drive in parks of the national capital, observing that "squatters" cannot be allowed to stay inside. The high court had in April this year issued directions to the authorities to remove encroachments inside and around the 12.8-acre historic park.(PTI)