New Delhi, Apr 13 (PTI) The Delhi High Court today asked the Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Corporation (SRDC) to place a report regarding unauthorised construction in various heritage properties in old Delhi.
These properties include the centuries old Haksar Haveli where India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru got married to Kamala Nehru.
The court also asked the North MCD commissioner to file its report on inspection done at Haksar Haveli, in pursuance to its order, regarding the alleged illegal and unauthorised construction at the heritage property.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and C Hari Shankar asked SRDC to place its report on the action taken on unauthorised construction in various heritage properties here.
The SRDC’s main objective is to promote conservation of heritage in Delhi that needs to be protected and maintained.
According to advocate M Qayam Ud Din representing Kusum Sehgal, who has filed a petition seeking action against unauthorised construction at several properties, they have mentioned 1,321 notified heritage properties in Delhi where illegal construction was being carried out.
Advocate Anil Aggarwal, who was appointed amicus curiae by the court, submitted his report in which he mentioned that illegal construction was being done at the heritage building.
Senior advocate Kirti Uppal, appearing for North MCD commissioner, said he had physically inspected the Haksar Haveli and the corporation was taking a serious view and was proceeding with demolition action on unauthorised construction.
He informed the court that vigilance inquiry has been directed against the erring officials of the corporation and sought time to place the inspection report before it.
Another counsel for the corporation, however, claimed that the building shown to the court in the photographs was not Haksar Haveli.
The corporation’s counsel said it was an adjacent property as heritage properties cannot be touch without the permission of Heritage Conservation Committee (HCC).
The court, which did not agree with this submission, listed the matter for further proceedings on May 14.
Meanwhile, the court agreed to make a party the co-occupants of another heritage haveli, which was being allegedly converted into a commercial complex by its owners.
The matter relates to Haveli Number 590, Kucha Pati Ram, in Old Delhi’s Sitaram Bazar, which was notified as a heritage property by the Delhi Government in 2016.
The court 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.
he 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 is published unedited from the PTI feed.