Plea to defer demolition of illegal structure rejected

The Delhi High Court on Friday dismissed a plea by police to postpone demolition of an illegal structure in Subhash Park.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: October 20, 2012 1:06:38 am

The Delhi High Court on Friday dismissed a plea by police to postpone demolition of an illegal structure in Subhash Park.

Earlier,the court had asked police to provide security to the North corporation to demolish the structure so that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) could investigate claims that ruins of the Mughal-era Akbarabadi mosque existed at the site.

In reply,police had sought postponement of the order on the ground that the holy month of Ramzan was on and and it it had to prepare for Independence Day celebrations and Baba Ramdev’s protest in Ramlila Maidan.

Terming the police plea as infructuous,a full bench headed Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul dismissed the application stating that the reasons given by police for delaying the demolition no longer existed.

“In our view,it is the duty of the Delhi Police to ensure that peace is maintained and yet law of the land is not breached holding out threats of possible repercussions. On examination of the averments in the application,to a large extent the application has become infructuous. This is so as the reasons stated for delay in action no more exist,” the bench said.

Police had asked the court to direct Shoaib Iqbal,the Matia Mahal MLA whose supporters allegedly built the structure,to remove it. The bench said this application couldn’t be allowed as police’s stand on Iqbal’s role was not clear.

“During the initial hearings on this application and his applications a portrayal was made that he was in the forefront of the construction activity. An ambivalent stand was taken subsequently as it was stated that Shoaib Iqbal should not be asked to make any admission as it would affect any criminal case which may be pending against him,” the bench said.

The court said dismissal of the Delhi Police’s application meant that it would have to make necessary arrangements for executing it’s earlier order and provide assistance to the North Municipal Corporation. “We have dismissed the application filed by the Delhi Police. The sequitur is that the Delhi Police will have to make necessary arrangements for the municipal corporation to carry out its task,” the bench said.

Besides the pleas of the Delhi Police and the civic agency,the court decided various applications filed by Iqbal,S S Sai Baba Omjee and Mahant Naval Kishore,general secretary of the Delhi Sant Maha Mandal.

Iqbal had sought constitution of a committee of eminent citizens to oversee the investigation of the ASI. He also asked for a status quo and that devotees be allowed to pray there.

The court said the ASI’s investigation was a technical job and there was no reason to doubt its competence or have a committee to oversee the task. It said there was no question of allowing namaz because the site is a park.

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