Supreme Court stops demolition drive in Delhi's violence-hit Jahangirpuri
The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered status quo, stopping the demolition drive by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation in Northwest Delhi's Jahangirpuri which was rocked by violence on the occasion of Hanuman Jayanti. Senior advocates Dushyant Dave, Kapil Sibal, PV Surendranath and Prashant Bhushan mentioned the matter before Chief Justice NV Ramana. As Dushyant Dave mentioned the demolition drive in riot-hit Jahangirpuri is completely illegal and no notice was given to anyone, the CJI ordered status quo. “Let the matter be taken up tomorrow along with the other matter,” the CJI said.
The issue of Jahangirpuri's demolition drive was mentioned before the Supreme Court as a plea, filed by Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, against the use of bulldozers to raze down the properties of riots-accused in Madhya Pradesh's Khargone was scheduled to be mentioned for urgent listing before the Chief Justice. Dave also said that the Jahangirpuri demolition was supposed to begin at 2pm but since the matter was scheduled to be mentioned before the Supreme Court, the drive started at 9am.
The matter of Jahangirpuri demolition was mentioned in the Delhi high court as well with lawyers saying that the residents were not given prior intimation and several of them are not even at home. In Delhi high court, the counsel sought that the demolition drive be stopped till 2pm. A bench of acting chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla allowed the listing of the matter today itself and asked the Additional solicitor general ( ASG) to be prepared with instructions. During the hearing, the court asked whether this is illegal if this is an encroachment on public land. The Delhi high court bench also asked whether the area concerned is a notified ‘jhuggi cluster’.
The North Delhi Municipal Corporation, ruled by the BJP, scheduled a demotion drive in the Jahangirpuri area on Wednesday and Thursday. The civic body sought 400 police personnel from the Delhi Police for the drive.
In preparation for the demotion drive, heavy police and paramilitary forces were deployed in Jahangirpuri on Wednesday morning. Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), North West, Usha Rangnani along with other police personnel inspected the area in the morning.
NDMC mayor Raja Iqbal Singh said the Supreme Court order will be followed and necessary action will be taken accordingly as the order came soon after the demolition drive began. NDMC Commissioner Sanjay Goel said the civic body will first go through the order and then act accordingly.
Almost an hour after Supreme Court's order, Dushyant Dave again mentioned the matter complaining that the demolition drive has not stopped. The CJI then asked the SC registry to communicate the stay order to NDMC mayor, commissioner and Delhi police commissioner.
(With inputs from Bureau)