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Delhi HC asks ASI chief to appear in person

HC has ordered the personal presence of DG ASI at the next hearing of a petition complaining neglect of the 'Jharna' monument.

india Updated: May 13, 2006 21:33 IST

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday ordered the personal presence of Director General of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) at the next date of hearing on a petition complaining crass neglect of the 17th century ancient monument "Jharna" at Mehrauli.

A Division Bench comprising the the Acting Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice SN Agarwal sought the personal presence of the top official after noting that the ASI failed to file its reply on the matter despite the court's earlier directive on the matter.

The Bench also asked the MCD and DDA to take necessary steps for clearing the encroachments in and around the monument and posted the matter for hearing to May 31.

The petition filed by Heritage and Culture Forum through counsel Usha Kumar had alleged that the 17th Century monument which was used as a palace lawn and fountain by the Moghal dynasty was lying in a state of shambles.

A number of encroachements the petition alleged had sproued at the place as neither the civic authorities nor ASI took any steps to protect the historical structure and place.

The organisation sought the court's directive to the ASI to declare the place a "Protected Monument" and take necessary steps to clear the encroachments.