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HC pulls up Delhi Public Library for lack of concern for books

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The High Court today pulled up the historic Public Library for lack of concern for "valuable" books kept at its premises whose roof is crumbling.

The high court said extensive damage must have been done to the books which are kept at the library and sought to know from the authorities why they have not been taken away.

A bench of Acting and Justice C said Public Library (DPL) was not at all interested in maintenance of the books and asked it to inform the court on the date of hearing, i.e. May 24, where it would shift the books, otherwise the court would take a serious view of it.

The bench noted that despite the critical status of the building, books have not been taken away and left to suffer.

"It (library) holds valuable books. If the library had any concern about the books, every efforts could have been made to remove them from the falling structure," it said.

During the hearing, the court was informed that during pendency of the petition, portions of the building were falling down.

The court had on December 6 last asked the library to preserve its books, which are locked up in the premises in question since November, 2016.

It had directed the authorities to shift the books, CDs, computers, catalogues and other important material lying in the premises to Delhi Public Library's office or any other safe location.

The court was hearing a petition filed by some scholars and journalists, who had moved against the corporations' notices to the library to vacate the premises, claiming that the building was structurally unfit and dangerous.

The high court earlier also said that it was "appalled" by lack of concern towards its property and books.

The first was started by across the in 1951.

The court on December 4, 2016 had extended till March 20, 2017 its order restraining the from demolishing the building.

It had directed the authorities to lock the library while ensuring that no life was put in danger.

The library was issued the first notice by the corporation on September 15, 2016 and the next one on November 4, 2017, asking the library to vacate so that the building could be demolished.

Seeking quashing of the notices, the petitioners have alleged that the owner of the premises, Dimple Enterprises,"wants a commercial complex in place of the library in order to make money from the land".

Funded by the Ministry of Culture, the is an autonomous body which has around 45 branches and mobile libraries across Delhi.

Officers from both central and Delhi governments, intellectuals, members of legislative assembly and councillors are its members.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, April 17 2018. 20:10 IST
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