HC Comes Down Heavily On Encroachers In Delhi's Timarpur Area
The Delhi High Court on October 31 came down heavily on the authorities over encroachments on public land, saying it was a "sordid state of affairs" and
asking whether only law-breakers were being protected.
It also said government officials dealing with these cases should be sent to jail.
"Is there nobody who will come and say that he follows the law? Are we only protecting the law breakers? Where are the law-abiding citizens," the court said, expressing anguish over encroachments in north Delhi's Timarpur area.
"Is this how you (government) treat public land? It is a very serious matter. Can we allow public land to go like this? It's taxpayers money which goes into these lands. The facts of this case show a sordid state of affairs regarding the manner in which public land and property is permitted to be trespassed and encroached upon," a Bench of acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar
During the hearing, the court said the government officials dealing with these cases should be sent to jail as it was a criminal offence. It "pains the judicial conscience ... There is no concern for public property worth crores of rupees," it said.
The court was hearing a petition, seeking direction to the Centre and Delhi government to remove encroachment on a land of 30,000 square yards, now popularly known as Sanjay Basti inTimarpur. The plea also sought direction to secure the land on which the urban development ministry could construct flats for government servants.
The Bench directed that the matter be placed before the secretary of Ministry of Urban Development who should look into it and file a report and listed the matter for December 6. The plea said that initially, some quarters were built by
the Central government for Class-IV employees which were declared unsafe in 1978-80 and directed to be demolished by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD).
It alleged that the demolition work was given to a private developer which demolished parts of the flats and left the remaining flats, allowing them to be occupied by encroachers. The encroachers allegedly rebuilt the government quarters and the land mafia was selling the flats or giving them on
rent to poor people.
The court also said the authorities have failed to disclose what action has been taken against the builder who was assigned the work of demolition and against the government officials.
With inputs from Housing News
Last Updated: Tue Nov 14 2017