New Delhi, Apr 4 (PTI) The CBI today claimed in the Delhi High Court that the DDA and the North Delhi Municipal Corporation were not cooperating with its enquiry into how the famous 108-foot Hanuman statue and a private two-wheeler dealership encroached upon public land in the busy Karol Bagh area here.
Though the Delhi Development Authority and the corporation rejected the CBI’s claim, a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar directed two senior officials of both authorities to appear before the agency’s Anti-Corruption Cell with all the relevant documents on April 11 and every other date as required.
Regarding the electricity being provided to the temple, the court directed the power distribution company of the area to place before it the original application that was filed by the temple staff for a power connection.
The court said it would also appoint an amicus curiae to assist it in the matter and listed it for further hearing on May 23.
During the brief hearing, the DDA told the court that its officials had no role to play in connection with the illegal construction of the statute as it had transferred the site in question to the Land And Development Office in 1972.
Earlier the North MCD had claimed that the site in question did not come under its jurisdiction and the New Delhi Municipal Council was responsible for the area.
Both the DDA and North MCD tried to distance themselves from the land in question after they were directed by the court to give a list of their officials who were posted in the area when the famous statue was being built illegally on public land, including a pavement.
The court had earlier said an illegal construction cannot be treated as an icon of Delhi after the lawyer for the temple trust head, Om Prakash Giri, had said that the statue was an iconic structure.
The court had initially ordered a police probe into the encroachment after a committee appointed by it in May last year to look into illegal constructions all over Delhi had pointed to encroachments of up to 1,170 square yards on DDA land which forms part of the Southern Ridge.
The committee had also said that apart from the Hanuman statue, there was unauthorised constructions of multiple small and big buildings of up to four floors, including a residential complex there.
The bench had then directed the authorities to take action against the unauthorised constructions on public land and ensure that all encroachments on the Southern Ridge are removed immediately and the Ridge is secured in terms of the orders of the Supreme Court.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.