Taking serious note of the decision by UT deputy commissioner (DC) to go ahead with demolition of the building housinge the office of the union ministry of telecommunication in Sector 18 on Thursday, ignoring UT adviser’s orders, the Punjab and Haryana high court has directed the DC to remain present in the court on Friday.
The directions came from the division bench comprising acting chief justice Ashutosh Mohunta and justice Anupinder Singh Grewal on a petition moved by the central government on Thursday.
Appearing for the central government, assistant solicitor general of India, Chetan Mittal, apprised the court that despite the clear orders passed by the adviser to the Chandigarh administrator on October 7 directing the DC not to demolish the building before making alternative arrangements for the office space, the DC came to the site on October 8 and also on Thursday morning to go ahead with the demolition.
Mittal placed on record the adviser’s October 7 letter that reads, “It is directed that unless satisfactory arrangement approved by the undersigned have been made, no action in precipitate the matter should be taken.” The senior counsel also added that irreparable loss had been caused to the central government office as very important records pertaining to ministry of communication and information technology had been scattered and destroyed.
On this the court directed the DC to remain present in the court at 10 am on Friday and to ensure that records and other assets pertaining to the central government office are protected.
The plot under question was leased by the Chandigarh administration to the ministry of communication and information technology in 1973. Apart from the central government department, both Punjab and Haryana governments also had their town and country planning offices on the plot.
In 2009, both state governments as well as the UT administration agreed to demolish the building, and the cost of new construction was to be divided among them in the ratio of 40:40:20.
Ministry of communication and IT had approached the UT to allot them an alternative office space.
However, the UT on September 2 this year had served eviction notices to the central government department without providing an alternative.