Explain why illegal construction was allowed at graveyard, HC asks SDMC

Court issues notice to Delhi govt., civic body and Waqf Board

The Delhi High Court has told the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) to explain why unauthorised construction and encroachment were allowed to come up in and around a graveyard at Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg here.

Justice Najmi Waziri also issued notices to the Delhi government, SDMC and Delhi Waqf Board on a petition seeking contempt action against the authorities for allegedly not complying with the court’s order to look into the grievances ventilated by petitioner Yuva Sangharsh Samiti.

‘Fix responsibility’

“Let the Deputy Commissioner of the SDMC file an affidavit explaining why the unauthorised construction and encroachment were allowed to come up in the first place and fix responsibility upon the officers, who may be found derelict in their duties. The affidavit shall also explain as to why the above-mentioned order [of Division Bench] has not been complied with,” the court said.

It was of the view that the photographs placed on record showed encroachment upon Delhi Waqf Board land.

On July 16, the court had said if any encroachment is found at the graveyard by the authorities, the decision shall be taken after giving adequate hearing to owners or occupiers of the premises and it shall be removed as per law.

No results

The petition has sought the removal or sealing of encroachment in the form of unauthorised construction over public land at the graveyard here, which is maintained by the Delhi Waqf Board. The petitioner said its repeated representations to the authorities, in particular to the SDMC, have yielded no results.

On the issue of street or public access, the High Court said this shall be cleaned up by the land owning agency and asked the municipal corporation to look into the issue of recent construction, which has been attempted at the spot.

Let the Deputy Commissioner of the Corporation file a compliance affidavit before the next date, that is, November 30, the High Court said.

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