The Delhi High court on Wednesday agreed to hear a plea filed by persons affected with leprosy (LAPs) and their families against demolition notices issued for alleged unauthorised construction at the Tahirpur Leprosy complex in East Delhi.
A group of 268 families, who are all residents of the Tahirpur complex, have sought “sympathetic consideration” from the authorities, on grounds that they were suffering from the disease as well as social stigma.
Appearing before the bench of Justice J R Midha on Wednesday, Delhi government’s additional standing counsel Santosh Kumar Tripathi informed the bench that the demolition orders had been issued on the direction of a different High Court bench, due to the illegal construction in the area.
Tripathi told the court that even though the government “sympathised” with the leprosy patients, a “stringent order had been issued” by a Delhi High Court bench, and “action had to be taken.”
On January 8, the bench of Justice Manmohan had directed the government to take action against unauthorised construction and commercial activities being illegally carried out in the lepers’ colony. The court had noted that the “officials of the Delhi government” had done “little other than pass the buck from one department to the other,” even though the case had been pending for over 10 years.
The bench had warned of contempt of court action against senior officials, and has summoned the secretary, department of Social Welfare, Delhi government, the sub-divisional magistrate, Seemapuri as well as deputy commissioner, East Delhi Municipal Corporation to be personally present in the court on February 22.