Encroachment on public land is akin to dacoity: Delhi HC | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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Encroachment on public land is akin to dacoity: Delhi HC

Feb 08, 2024 06:14 AM IST

The court urged the agencies to use newer technologies like drones or satellite images to maintain a vigil

Encroachment on public land is akin to dacoity, the Delhi high court has remarked even as it reprimanded the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) for their failures to act against the unauthorised construction in a sealed guest house within 100 meters of the centrally protected monument “Nizamuddin ki Baoli” and the Barakhamba Tomb.

The court was hearing a plea filed by an NGO, Jamia Arabia Nizamia Welfare Education Society, seeking to halt and demolish the illegal construction being carried out in the guest house. (Representational image)
The court was hearing a plea filed by an NGO, Jamia Arabia Nizamia Welfare Education Society, seeking to halt and demolish the illegal construction being carried out in the guest house. (Representational image)

“Encroachment is the worst form of construction. It is like committing dacoity... public is losing land... state is losing assets. This is something very very serious. Government has lost possession of its valuable land,” a bench led by the acting chief justice said to an MCD official.

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The court urged the agencies to use newer technologies like drones or satellite images to maintain a vigil.

The court was hearing a plea filed by an NGO, Jamia Arabia Nizamia Welfare Education Society, seeking to halt and demolish the illegal construction being carried out in the guest house. The petition contended that a large number of unauthorised guest houses were operating without permission from the Nizamuddin West residential colony due to the support of DDA, MCD, and the station house officer (SHO) of Nizamuddin police station.

Taking note of the fact that the guest house was built illegally on DDA land, the court said that there was a serious dereliction of duty on the part of the officials who failed to work on the ground despite intimation by police and the Archeological Survey of India (ASI). It asked the MCD official to act against the erring officials.

“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?” the bench also comprising justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora said to the MCD official.

The court also said, “Some action will have to be taken against these officers. This cannot happen without someone’s support... if not support, tacit connivance has taken place. Let’s not mince words.”

On Wednesday, the MCD official submitted that DDA and MCD should have acted on the matter.

Considering the official’s submission, the court said that the authorities needed to act against unauthorised construction to protect citizens.

The high court had, last week, also slammed the civic authorities saying that the Capital had turned into a “slum” due to rampant illegal constructions. Expressing concern regarding the city’s worsening air quality index (AQI) despite the rain, the court remarked that MCD’s inaction had contributed to the same. Fuming over the construction of three additional floors, a bench said that the “jugalbandi that was going on between the civic authorities (MCD and DDA) and the police had to stop” and observed that the matter required investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

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