Taking up a public interest litigation (PIL) submitting that despite the high court's directions, encroachments on the land of the historical Panipat fort have not been removed by the authorities and portions of the land are even being sold, the Punjab and Haryana high court has granted two months to the Haryana government to take action.
The division bench comprising chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and justice Ajay Tewari made it clear that in case the authorities failed to take action as per law, the Panipat deputy commissioner should remain present in the court on September 19 for an explanation.
The directions came on a PIL filed by Panipat resident Deepak Tayal. The Panipat municipal corporation had earlier informed the court that it was taking action in 242 cases under the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971.
The Panipat fort has an area of around 53,840 square yards. The battles of Panipat were fought there and it is believed that the fort was built by the Pandavas. It is also a symbol of the national freedom struggle as Mahatma Gandhi had visited the place twice, according to the petitioner.
The petitioner had submitted that the government 'nazool' land of the Panipat fort, under the management of the municipal corporation, was being encroached upon by raising illegal constructions and some parts of the land had even been sold by private parties.