The Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked, “How will a civilised society survive if an illegal structure appears in the middle of a road?” while criticising the authorities for being “silent bystanders” to such unauthorised structures.
The high court stated that the authorities must take a clear and forceful stance in such issues and act immediately to send a strong message to encroachers that such encroachments will not be accepted and that those responsible for erecting such illegal buildings would face criminal charges.
The Delhi government was criticized by a bench of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla for failing to take decisive action against the encroachers.
The Court was hearing a petition contesting the construction of two Mazars in Bhajanpura, one on a route near Hassanpur Depot and the other on Wazirabad Road. SD Windlesh, the petitioner, stated that the encroachments were blocking traffic and causing hardship to individuals, and that they should be removed as soon as possible in accordance with Supreme Court orders.
The images of the illegal encroachment indicated a “terrible state of affairs” as to how the State administration was a mute witness to the encroachment, according to the decision issuing notice.
“We are at loss to understand, how the state can be a mute spectator and allow such structures. State should play a firm stand and come down with an iron hand to send a clear message to all encroachers that such encroachments will not be tolerated and will be removed as soon as they are sought to be placed and penal action should also be initiated against persons behind raising such structures.”
After the advocate argued that the issue of demolishing unlawful structures is pending consideration before the Supreme Court, the court ordered the Delhi government’s counsel to produce a status report on the matter as well as relevant documents on record.
The court also ordered the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation to respond to the petition and set a date for a hearing on November 16.
The Bench also instructed Windlesh to remove the names of two members of the Legislative Assembly, Mohan Singh and Ajay Mahawar, from the respondent list while serving notice to the respondent authorities as they were neither necessary nor proper party.