The Delhi high court on Wednesday directed the Centre to notify the names of the members and chairperson of the National Monument Authority (NMA) within 30 days.
The order brings relief to hundreds of property owners and also a number of public infrastructure projects awaiting permission for construction as they fall within 300 metres of centrally protected monuments.
The court has further directed that if the government fails to appoint the chairperson and members within the stipulated time, the powers under this authority would be executed by the competent authority for Delhi.A bench headed by Justice Pradeep Nandrajog cited a June 2011 Bombay high court judgment, which had directed the competent authority there to carry out functions of the NMA till it is formed.
The matter came up when the court was hearing a case for infrastructure development and expansion plans for the Delhi High Court complex. A portion of the land for the proposed expansion was falling within the regulated area (101-300 metres from a protected monument) of Sher Shah Suri Gate, an Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)-protected monument.
The court had asked the competent authority to come up with heritage bye laws for the Sher Shah Suri Gate. When the court was informed that competent authority’s Vijay Singh had not complied with the court directives, it gave him three more weeks to prepare heritage byelaws.
When Justice Nandrajog was informed that the government had failed to appoint the chairperson and members of the NMA even after one-and-a-half-years of the amendment, he immediately directed the Centre to appoint the chairperson and the members within 30 days.