Fifteen years after a bench of the Delhi High Court banned any construction activity in the Sainik Farms area, it has hundreds of buildings — including flats, farmhouses and commercial areas. Irked by the “rampant violation” of its orders, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the South Delhi Municipal Corporation and Delhi police to give it a list of officials who had been posted in the area since 2001, and had turned a blind eye to the unauthorised construction. The court also asked the CBI standing counsel to comment on whether the agency could probe the corruption indicated in the case.
“A house of the kind constructed in the Sainik farms area needs almost 200 trucks of material for construction and furnishing… in all over one lakh forty thousand trucks had ingress and egress to the area after 2007…” observed the court. “Yet police and MCD have nothing to show apart from a few prosecutions and some demolitions in a pick and choose manner,” observed the bench of Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva.
“We find that despite clear directions from this court, unauthorised construction has gone unabated,” said the court.
“The SDMC and DCP, south are directed to file a list of officials deputed in the area pursuant to directions of the court in 2001,” the court said.
The court was hearing a set of PILs on the issue of unauthorised construction in the city, including two PILs specifically on the Sainik Farms area. The bench indicated its anger after the counsel for the SDMC admitted that satellite images of the area suggested that over 700 unauthorised buildings were constructed there after 2007.
Hauz Khas village under scanner
Restaurants and shops at the Hauz Khas village have also come under the radar of the Delhi HC in two PILs, alleging that the upscale market was “illegally” constructed. HKV falls next to the remains of a mosque and tomb constructed in the 13th century. Delhi Wakf board and the ASI Wednesday told the court that they had “written to the authorities several times” to remove the buildings which are in “protected area” under ASI rules.