THE DELHI High Court has stayed the ongoing demolition of the Delhi Public Library (DPL) building at Karol Bagh, observing that the building did not appear to be “on the verge of collapse” as had been claimed by the private owners of the premises.
The bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal Wednesday extended the stay on demolition of the building, which houses the 52-year-old Delhi Public Library at Deshbandhu Road in Karol Bagh. The bench, headed by Justice Indira Banerjee, had issued the stay Tuesday, and had adjourned the matter to be heard by the Chief Justice Wednesday.
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A PIL had been filed before the High court by some journalists and authors against the demolition of the building, claiming that the private owner of the property was “land mafia” who “wanted to build a commercial complex” on the land.
The petitioners had argued that the North MCD had been “manipulated by using corrupt practices to declare the premises dangerous”, even though it had certified the building as “safe” in 2011.
The North MCD had issued two notices to the Delhi Public Library asking it to vacate the premises so the building could be demolished.
“The building does not appear to be in such a dilapidated condition that there is a likelihood of immediate collapse” said the court, taking note of photos submitted by petitioners.
The bench issued a stay on the demolition till the next date of hearing on December 5.
Delhi Public Library Board is an autonomous body funded by the Ministry of Culture, and has about 45 branches and mobile libraries across Delhi.