Jahangirpuri demolition drive: SC's status quo for 2 weeks, frowns on MCD

Thursday, 21 April 2022 (13:29 IST)
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday expressed annoyance over Delhi's municipal authorities carrying out demolition in Jahangirpuri even after it ordered it stopped and ruled that status quo will be maintained for two weeks.

A two-judge Bench led by Justice L Nageswara Rao and also comprising Justice B R Gavai ordered the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) to maintain the status quo in the area mainly populated by economically weaker sections.

"Status quo has to be maintained till further orders in the Jahangirpuri case. List the matter after two weeks and pleadings to be completed till then," the Bench said.

The apex court heard a petition filed by the Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind against the allegedly illegal encroachment in Jahangirpuri, which saw violence days earlier.

The bench also considered a petition filed by the same petitioner against the razing of properties of people who were accused of stoning on the occasion of Ram Navami in various states of the country.

On Wednesday, the top court ordered a halt to demolition in Jahangirpuri area after the matter was mentioned by senior advocate Dushyant Dave. Even after Wednesday's order, the demolition went on, forcing the Chief Justice to tell the Secretary General of the court to order the NDMC Mayor and the Delhi Police Commissioner to immediately end the razing.

By the time the drive ended at 12.45 pm, a lot of demolition had been carried out. On Thursday, advocate Dave hit out at the BJP-led municipal corporation.

"You don't want to touch unauthorized constructions in Sainik Farms or Golf Links but target the poor in Jahangirpuri?" Dave asked.

The Bench observed: "We'll take a serious view of the demolition that took place after information was given to the Mayor."

Dave said illegal constructions were not confined to Jahangirpuri. "It is a matter affecting the social fabric of our country. A particular section of the society is being targeted."

He said that both Babasaheb Ambedkar and Sardar Patel had spoken of a situation like this.

"This is the warning they gave. If this is allowed, there will be no rule of law left. How is it that the President of the BJP writes a letter to the Municipal Commissioner to start demolitions and they demolish after that? "The Municipal Corporation Act provides for service of notice, appeals," Dave said. (UNI)

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