The Delhi High Court today refused to grant relief to a man against an anti-encroachment drive in a park around a monument here, observing that "squatters" cannot be allowed in such buildings just because their ancestors also stayed there. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Navin Chawla made the observation after one of the residents of Amir Khusro Park next to Sundar Nagar approached it, a day after the court ordered removal of squatters while refusing to stay the DDA demolition drive. The man alleged he was not heard prior to demolition of the structures and claimed that his family had been staying there for last 40 years since their ancestors used to take care of the structure. Sending a strong signal against encroachments on public land, the bench said, "We are seeing that heirs occupy most of the religious buildings in Delhi. This cannot be allowed. If your ancestors have been there, it does not mean you will also stay.
We are only implementing the law." "Religious buildings have to be protected and illegal occupants need to be removed," it said. The bench said he has to move out of the park within two days observing that "park has to be a park and it cannot be allowed to be converted into a colony". "It's (the park) between the road," it said. "You (man) will have residence only if the Delhi Master Plan 2021 permits. Law has to be enforced," the bench said. The high court had yesterday allowed DDA to remove squatters from the park in central Delhi and had refused to stay the ongoing demolition exercise in which DDA razed more than 100 temporary and pucca structures encroaching it. The court had said it will not tolerate unauthorised constructions on government land and also reiterated an earlier direction where it had threatened contempt proceedings against the DDA and the Delhi Police if they failed to clear the green zone of encroachers. The DDA counsel had told the court that the demolition team had found a mini-factory and a temporary air conditioning rental office operating inside the park. The high court had last month issued directions to the authorities to remove encroachers inside and around the 12.8- acre Amir Khusro Park that also borders Lala Lajpat Rai Marg and Lodhi Road. Earlier, it had instructed DDA to conduct a survey and find out who the encroachers were before removing them.