The Delhi high court on Monday restrained the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) from taking “coercive steps” on a notice issued to Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy and his family for demolition of an alleged illegal construction in their residence.
“No coercive steps should be taken in pursuance of the demolition notice issued on April 2,” a bench of justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Indermeet Kaur said.
The court also asked the ASI to file a reply to Swamy’s plea within four weeks and fixed it for hearing on August 5.
The court took note of the “belated” issue of demolition notice to Swamy’s family members against alleged illegal constructions on the second floor of the house and for which the MCD had already levied compounding charges.
“File details as to how many houses have been inspected (by the ASI) and how many notices have been issued in the (Nizamuddin) area,” the court said after Swamy contended the ASI has been taking such a step without any legal reason.
The court, which asked the ASI to provide a map of the area to Swamy, was hearing the plea of the leader against the demolition notice issued regarding alleged illegal construction in his residence.
The ASI has maintained that the house, jointly owned by Swamy’s lawyer wife and two daughters, was within 28 metres of ‘Arab Ki Sarai’, a protected ancient monument, at Nizamuddin area in south Delhi.
The ASI alleged that Swamy’s family had violated a provision of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Rules.