A city court on Monday restrained Delhi Development Authority (DDA) from demolishing 300 houses in Singalpur village in Shalimar Bagh area. The court said no to demolishing a particular house in the village, aborting the DDA’s plans.
The court pulled up the authority officials for not offering compensation to Padam Prakash Gupta before taking possession of his land.
Gupta, a resident of house no. 26 in Singalpur village, had approached the court following the DDA and Haryana Canal Department allegedly threatening to demolish his house.
Gupta contended that he purchased the property from Chandgi Ram, the first owner, in 1967. The electricity connection was installed by the then Delhi Electricity Supply Undertaking (DESU) in 1985, and the water connection by the MCD in 1987.
Gupta’s neighhours also deposed that there were about 300 houses in the colony and they all were paying house tax since 1981. They told the court that many of them had been residing in the village for over 35 years.
Passing an interim stay order against a Civil Judge's finding, the Additional District Judge took note of the fact that Gupta had been paying house tax since 1981 and had water and electricity connections and therefore, he cannot be dispossessed from his house.
The judge said, “Despite having formal possession of land, the DDA cannot demolish the built in structure.”The Haryana Canal Department also confirmed that Gupta and other villagers were in physical possession of the land, and that the DDA had only the formal possession.
The court said the documents on record showed the property was built and was in existence prior to the date of formal possession by the DDA in 1968.