The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has issued notices for sealing and demolition of unauthorised construction in the house of sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan near the historic Lal Gumbad in Sadhana Enclave area of the Capital.
This follows a September 2006 report by a Supreme Court-appointed panel of two lawyers that confirmed major illegal constructions in his 3, Sadhana Enclave House, Malviya Nagar in violation of the provisions of the Ancient Monuments (Archaeological Sites and Remains) Act, 1958 and the rules framed thereunder.
The court has seized a PIL filed by activist lawyer MC Mehta in 1996 seeking removal of encroachments from protected monuments situated in the Capital.
MCD counsel Sanjiv Sen confirmed that the notices had been issued to Khan in December 2006.
When contacted, Khan’s wife Subhalakshmi Khan said that the notices have been wrongly issued and that her lawyer would respond to them.
According to the MCD, the second floor of Khan’s main building, the third floor over the garage block, toilet, lobby and store on terrace, rooms and toilets in basement and pantry/store in rear setback at all floors are "unauthorised construction/deviations in the building".
The report filed by advocates Mehta and ADN Rao said that Khan has constructed an unauthorised RCC structure within the 300 meters from the Lal Gumbad which fell within the regulated area.
Mehta said that as per Section 19(2) of the Act and Rule 38(1) of the Ancient Monuments Rules, any kind of construction was prohibited within 100 meters of a monument declared 'protected' under the Act while it was ‘regulated’ within further 200 meters.
The report said that the Archaeological Survey of India has already issued notice to Khan for removal of the unauthorised constructions near the monument, also known as Rakab Wala Gumbad, but no action has been taken. The panel requested the court to issue notice to him and direct demolition of the unauthorised structure.
Earlier, on March 6, 2006 too Khan’s wife Subhalakshmi Khan, the owner of 3, Sadhana Enclave, was issued showcause notices by the MCD asking why the offending constructions not be demolished.
She had then personally appeared before the MCD and sought regularisation of the "existing building". The then Junior Engineer (Building) had inspected the building and certain portions (basement, ground floor, mezzanine and first and second floor on garage floor) were regularised after payment of compounding fee of over Rs 2 lakh in April last year.
There are still unauthorised construction/deviations in the building for which the notices have been issued, Sen said.
A Bench headed by Justice BN Agrawal on Tuesday asked Sen to respond to the panel’s report detailing the action taken by the civic body in the matter.
The Bench also directed the MCD to remove all unauthorised constructions from two other protected monuments in the capital - Feroze Shah Kotla Ground and Hazrat Nizamuddin Complex.
The Hazrat Nizamuddin Complex comprises Ghalib’s Tomb, Shrine of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya, Shrine of Amir Khusro, Tomb of Shah Suleman and Chausath Khambha, Grave of Mirza Jahangir, the Gravesof Jahan Ara Begum and Mohd Shah Rangeela, Agah Khan Tomb and Barah Khambha.