A Delhi court has upheld the summons issued to five persons for demolishing a 150-year-old toilet block, which it held to be a public property even as the land on which it was built did not belong to MCD.
Additional Sessions Judge Narinder Kumar upheld the order of a magisterial court summoning five accused -- Sunil, Sanjay, Pappan, Gaurav and Rahul, all residents of Nabi Karim, under the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act for demolishing the toilet block in old Delhi.
The ASJ held that even when the land did not belong to MCD, the toilet block, which was used by public, was under the control of MCD and the water there was supplied by Delhi Jal Board.
"In view of the material available on record, this Court finds that the toilet to which water used to be supplied by Delhi Jal Board for use by public of that area, can safely be said to have been maintained by local authority within the definition of 'public property'," the ASJ said.
The case against the five accused was registered in 2008 on directions of the magisterial court which received a complaint alleging that the toilet block was demolished by them despite it being there for the last about 150 years.
It was a public property owned, possessed and under the control of MCD, was renovated and a booster pump was installed.
The accused persons had challenged the trial court order saying simply because water was being supplied by DJB, the toilet block did not become public property.
"There is no dispute that the reports furnished by MCD clearly show that the toilet block the land underneath did not belong to MCD but a tube well was commissioned by the Delhi Jal Board along with allied equipment and the water from the same was being used for non-drinking purposes by the public," the ASJ observed.