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An investigation into illegal constructions in Delhi is being carried out under the supervision of the Delhi High Court bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar. This is as per a petition filed by the All India Anti Corruption and Crime Prevention Society. The case pertains to illegal construction of a building in Andrews Ganj with the alleged connivance of the MCD.

The petitioners filed a writ under Article 226, saying that the statutory authority of the MCD is under strict violation of building by-laws.

In the last hearing, time was taken up with administrative work, in which office space was not found within the MCD for the investigating committee appointed by the court, including DR Karthikeyan (ex-CBI director), RMS Liberhan, (former director India Habitat Centre) and Ms Ravinder Kaur (retired district and sessions judge). The court ordered that space be provided to them within a week.

The court also threatened the MCD, saying: “If it prima facie appears that restraint has been put on the order we have passed, we will issue contempt notice. It is made clear to the authorities if they cannot take steps to cooperate with the court orders we will take strict action against them.”

The court had also ordered: “In case the respondent doesn’t provide the space then municipal corporation shall file the application that no space is available. The MCD showed utmost disrespect towards the committee members. We will immediately issue contempt notice if we found that you are authorizing the construction.”

On Tuesday (August 8), the petitioner said: “They have constructed the fifth floor. The illegal construction is still going on. For the past three months they haven’t demolished any building.”

The bench prompted: “They have demolished one building.”

The petitioner said: “No, they haven’t.”

The bench said: “Let’s see what the committee report says.”

The petitioner said: “We want the building to be demolished.”

The bench ordered demolition of the building. The court gave three days for the demolition work to be carried out. The court also directed the Delhi Police SHO to ensure compliance of the court order.

The matter comes up again on September 26.

India Legal Bureau

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