New Delhi, April 24 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Monday pulled up the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), saying it cannot be a “silent spectator” on the issue of encroachments in the historic Tughlaqabad Fort, and directed the agency to remove them within four weeks.
A division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad was dealing with pleas challenging rampant encroachment in Tughlaqabad Fort and warned that it will order personal appearance of top officials like the ASI Director, MCD commissioners, the sub-divisional magistrate and senior police officers if its directives are not complied with.
“This court cannot be a silent spectator (when order has been passed by the top court). The ASI is directed to take action for removal of the encroachment and SDM concerned and MCD will provide all logistical support for removal of encroachment… List after four weeks,” the bench said.
The court listed the matter for next hearing on May 26.
In 2016, the apex court had passed an order for removal of encroachments in the area.
The ASI, which has already pasted 1,248 notices on various structures within the fort, apprised the court that due to non-cooperation by other authorities, it is not able to remove the illegal structures.
The bench asked the Delhi Police with MCD and the SDM, to provide necessary support to the ASI in removing the encroachments. The lawyers for the MCD, the DDA and other authorities assured they will provide full assistance to the ASI.
A PIL was filed back in 2001 to protect, maintain and preserve the historic fort and the top court had directed the high court to keep a tab on these aspects.