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The Delhi High Court today asked the police to lodge FIR and prosecute the violators for every inch of encroachment on public land here. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar noted that an experts panel, set up by it for physical inspection of properties where illegal construction was done, has brought forward several illegalities including trespass on public land. It had on May 16 appointed former CBI director D R Karthikeyan, India Habitat Centre (IHC) Director Raj Liberhan and retired district judge Ravinder Kaur as the committee members, who will act as court commissioners. The court directed the Delhi Police commissioner to conduct an inquiry into the matter including that who are the persons who funded and carried out these constructions. The bench also asked the authorities to explain what action has been taken against the officials who allowed these illegal constructions to flourish. It said unauthorised construction of small and big buildings, including residential premises, have been affected and these encroachments are not only on public land, but also render offences of penal provisions under the IPC. It said violation of the Supreme Court orders and statutory rules cannot be allowed. The bench also directed the three municipal corporations to put on their websites the encroachments and deviations made in the site plans of the buildings. It said that details of demolition, sealing orders of properties be filed before the court in one week and listed the matter for November 24. The court had earlier said Delhi was being reduced to a slum, thanks to rampant illegal construction. It had said the commissioners will inspect the properties of all the three municipal bodies in the city and shall be provided the original records of the properties by the corporations. It had said they will be paid Rs one lakh as their fees by the corporations and Rs 2,000 each for every visit to the sites and asked the Delhi Police to provide them adequate security while they are visiting the properties. The court was hearing several PILs alleging presence of illegal constructions in all corners of the national capital. The pleas have also sought to register case against the officials of the corporations, who had allegedly allowed such construction despite a demolition order against them. The panel, in its report, has stated that the building bye-laws and development plans of the national capital have only furthered builders' interest and not that of the citizens' life. It has expressed concern over the authorities' failure in urban planning to provide for the population influx in the city and said "population pressure have beaten us hollow and caught the policy makers short of ideas continuously". The three-member experts panel has said that "30 per cent of the population of Delhi is living in sub-human condition and 10 per cent completely in inhuman conditions" due to such construction.
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