Friday, March 24, 2023

Delhi High Court rejects PIL for demolition of 13 ‘illegal’ Sarai Rohilla properties with Rs 50,000 cost

The Bench asked the petitioner's counsel how did they come to know the properties were illegal and was told that residents in the neighbourhood told them.

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The Delhi High Court has refused to entertain a plea alleging construction of illegal and unauthorized super-structures in Sarai Rohilla region of the capital, noting that the petition has been filed without proper homework and only on the basis of information received from passers-by.

The Division Bench comprising Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Amit Bansal dismissed the petition with a cost of Rs 50,000. Filed by a society named Fight For Right Social Welfare Society, the plea pointed out a list of 13 illegal properties located at Sarai Rohilla, and thereby, prayed for demolition of the alleged illegal and unauthorized properties. The plea further sought for directions to book the unbooked illegal and unauthorized construction. In addition, the plea prayed for disciplinary or legal action against those corrupt officials who are protecting such illegal and unauthorized encroachment. 

The Bench raised a query in respect of the source of knowledge to claim illegality in construction of the said properties, the Counsel for the petitioner society responded that they were informed about the same by persons living in the surroundings of such constructions.

While terming the answer as an “evasive” one, the Bench underscored that it is a “blackmailing type of litigation” and  not a PIL. Furthermore, the Bench enquired from the Counsel for the petitioner society if any information has been received in respect of the said properties under the Right to Information Act, 2005, upon which he answered in the negative.

The Bench stated thus:“The petitioner has filed this petition without proper homework and only on being informed by some persons who are moving on road. This is not a method in which Public Interest Litigation can be filed by the petitioner.”
“It ought to be kept in mind that whenever any superstructure is to be demolished, even if it is illegal in nature, the Petitioner ought to have joined owners / occupiers of the superstructure as a party Respondent. No construction can be demolished without hearing the owners / occupiers of the superstructure. In the facts of the present case, this Petitioner has not joined any owner / occupier of the superstructure in question which this Petitioner wants to be demolished,” the Bench added further.

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