The Delhi High Court today said the unauthorised constructions in various heritage buildings in Chandni Chowk area of Old Delhi cannot be countenanced and directed video recording of the inspections of the properties there.
The observation and direction by a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar came after heated words were exchanged between the amicus curiae appointed by the court and the lawyers for the North Delhi Municipal Corporation over whether inspections were carried out.
While the amicus claimed that the Commissioner was not willing to carry out inspections as ordered by the court, the corporation had disputed the allegation.
The amicus, advocate Anil Aggarwal, also told the bench that inspection of many properties was not carried out as per court orders as they were found to be locked.
The corporation, on the other hand, claimed it had carried out inspections and also sealed and demolished illegal constructions.
However, the court, after perusing all the reports, said it was "obvious that the Commissioner (of the corporation) has not inspected the properties".
"How can you inspect a locked property? What is happening (unauthorised constructions) in Chandni Chowk cannot be countenanced. This is reprehensible," it said and directed that the inspections be video recorded by the corporation which will pay for it.
It also said that the corporation's Commissioner will have to go for the inspection, saying "it was high time they take their responsibility seriously".
The bench also appointed a senior high court official to oversee the inspection which has been fixed for May 19.
The court also asked the North MCD commissioner to file a report on inspection done at Haksar Haveli, in pursuance to its order, regarding the alleged illegal and unauthorised construction at the heritage property.
The court was hearing a PIL filed by Kusum Sehgal seeking action against unauthorised construction at several properties in the area.
In her plea, she has mentioned 1,321 notified heritage properties in Delhi where illegal construction were being carried out.
The court had earlier observed that unauthorised construction cannot be allowed to go on merely because of inaction by the authorities.
On April 4, the high court had stayed the ongoing construction in Haksar Haveli when it was told that the 'haveli' was on the verge of being destroyed by builders for their "financial lust".
Nehru had married Kamala, who was residing with her family in Haksar Haveli, in Sitaram Bazar, on February 8, 1916.
The beauty of Haksar Haveli, which hosted 'mushairas' (poetry sessions) and musical programmes till even a few years ago, is being destroyed by the illegal and unauthorised construction being carried out on the premises, the court was earlier informed.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)