Prosecute Violators For Every Inch Of Encroachment: HC To Delhi Cops
The Delhi High Court on November 15 asked the police to lodge first information report (FIR) and prosecute the violators for every inch of encroachment on public land in the city. A Bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar noted that an experts' panel, set up by it for physical inspection of properties where illegal construction was done, had brought forward several illegalities, including trespass on public land. This three-member experts' panel was set up by the HC in May 16 this year. In its report, the panel said that 30 per cent of the population of Delhi was living in sub-human condition and 10 per cent completely in inhuman conditions due to such construction.
The HC has also directed the Delhi Police Commissioner to find out about the people who funded and carried out these constructions. The Bench also asked authorities to explain what action had been taken against the officials who allowed these illegal constructions to flourish.
The Bench also directed the three municipal corporations to put on their websites the encroachments and deviations made in the site plans of the buildings. It said that details on demolition and sealing orders of properties be filed before the court in one week, and listed the matter for November 24.
The court had earlier said Delhi was being reduced to a slum, thanks to rampant illegal construction. It ordered an inspection of the properties of all the three municipal bodies in the city and sought their original records.
The court was hearing several PILs, alleging presence of illegal constructions in all corners of the national capital. The pleas have also sought to register case against the officials of the corporations who had allegedly allowed such construction despite a demolition order against them.
The panel, in its report, has stated that the building bye-laws and development plans of the national capital are made to ensure builders' interest and not that of the citizens'. The panel expressed concern over the authorities' failure in urban planning to provide for the population influx in the city, and said "population pressure have beaten us hollow and caught the policy makers short of ideas continuously".
With inputs from Housing News