Mehrauli demolition drive: Delhi HC seeks identity documents of residents

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New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked counsel for Goshiya Colony Sewa Samiti and others residing in Mehrauli area of south Delhi to submit a list of identity documents of 467 residents in a plea challenging the colony’s demolition by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA).

A bench of Justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora asked advocate Anupradha Singh, counsel for petitioner, to provide a list of the identity documents to counsel of the DDA and Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB).

The judge also asked her to file a rejoinder to the affidavits filed by the DDA and DUSIB, for which the court granted her one week’s time.

The court then listed the matter for the next hearing on March 14.

On February 17, the High Court had directed the DDA and DUSIB to file affidavits in the plea.

The plea challenges the December 12, 2022 demolition notice, wherein the DDA planned to carry out a demolition drive in the entire Goshiya Colony, which is in existence for more than five decades and consists of over 600 houses, with approximately 4,000 population.

The plea stated, citing the ‘Ajay Maken and others vs Union of India’ case that a demolition drive cannot be carried out without following the protocol for removal of jhuggis as per the order of High Court.

The petition claimed that the land-owning agency cannot begin the demolition process until the DUSIB determines that the jhuggis are not eligible for rehabilitation.

However, the DDA in its affidavit has stated that the land falls in Mehrauli Archaeological Park which forms part of the Southern Central Ridge where a large number of historical world-famous monuments exist which are protected/unprotected and maintained by the Archeological Survey of India (ASI).

It is stated in the affidavit that according to DDA’s land record, the land subject matter of the present petition false in khasra number 216 and 217 villages Ladha Sarai Mehrauli New Delhi and that Khasra Number 217 is acquired land.

The land has been set apart as green in the master plan of Delhi since the beginning and is to be developed and maintained as green and to be conserved under the Mehrauli Heritage Zone, the DDA’s affidavit stated.

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( With inputs from www.siasat.com )

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