Directing the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to strictly implement the ban on construction activity within 100 metres of protected monuments, the Delhi High Court has ordered demolition of illegal structures erected near Begumpur mosque in South Delhi.
"The ASI and the South Delhi Municipal Corporation will look into if there are any unauthorised constructions in the vicinity of the mosque and take action in accordance with the law. The demolition action should be carried out within two weeks," a bench headed by Chief Justice D Murugesan told ASI's standing counsel Jatan Singh.
The court directions came on a private complaint which pointed out the illegal construction inside the prohibited zone around the mosque.
Singh told the court that the no objection certificate was given to its owner on October 30, 2009 only to construct beyond 100 metres of the monument but he had committed violations. The lawyer for SDMC said partial demolition was carried out on April 11 and it was still on.
On October 30, 2009, the court had declared "illegal" an experts committee formed to allow constructions within the prohibited limits on a case to case basis. It had asked a six-member panel, headed by the ASI director general and comprising eminent historians and town planners which had over 400 applications from across the country, not to grant any more permissions for construction.
"The committee has been set up without any legal basis…the entire exercise being undertaken by them is without authority of law. The ASI, entrusted with the statutory responsibility of ensuring preservation of monuments is, in fact, facilitating violation of the 1992 notification which prohibits construction within 100 metres of protected monuments," the court had said.