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The Supreme Court on Tuesday (May 9) appreciated the prompt action taken by the Haji Ali Dargah Trust in removing encroachments on way to the Dargah. However, it asked the concerned authorities to inspect the area to ascertain if the claims made by the Dargah Trust were true or not.

On Tuesday, the Maharashtra government submitted that it had already received an affidavit from the Dargah that the Court’s orders had been followed. The counsel representing the Dargah, in fact, read out the affidavit in front of the Court. But there was a glitch. According to the affidavit, 500 sq mt still remained to be cleared. The petitioner expressed his inability to finish the task on the ground that the encroachers had the requisite license to use the place. The Court then decided to ask the authorities to do the needful.

The Court had in its last order asked the Dargah Trust to remove the encroachments on or before May 8. It had also given a free hand to the Trust to come up with a beautification plan for the area.

The petitioner placed the beautification plan in the Court and pleaded that it had to be sanctioned by concerned municipal corporation. The Bench then asked Maharashtra government to take up the matter.

As far as removing encroachments on the remaining 500 sq mts were concerned, the court gave four weeks’ time (till June 6, 2017) to the encroachers to vacate the land and expressed hope that the Trust will be able to convince the encroachers. In case, the encroachers still persist, the Joint Task Force appointed by the Bombay High Court will take charge and clear the place from June 10 and finish on June 30, the Court ordered.

The Court also asked the concerned municipal corporation to consider the beautification plan submitted by the Trust and make the necessary changes, if needed. The report on this is to be filed by June 30, the Court ordered.

The matter will again be taken up on July 3, 2017

—India Legal Bureau

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