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'Foreign embassies not immune from civil laws'

The Delhi HC has ordered the MCD to file status reports on alleged illegal structures owned any foreign Govt.

india Updated: Apr 24, 2006 19:52 IST

The Delhi High Court ruled on Monday that foreign embassies could not enjoy any diplomatic immunity from civil law.

The court has also ordered the MCD to file status reports on alleged illegal structures owned by foreign governments.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Rekha Sharma passed the order after Advocate Commissioner for South Zone Siddharth Mridul brought the matter to the Court's notice.

During his submission, Mridul said that a huge structure in the form of a farm house had been constructed illegally on Prakriti Marg inSultanpuri, South Delhi.

Enquires revealed that the structure was owned by a foreign embassy.

MCD counsel Jagmohan Sabharhwal then stated that civic authorities could not act against the structure as foreign embassies and diplomats enjoyed immunity from local laws.

However, the Bench maintained that all illegal and unauthorised structures irrespective of the owner's status would have to be demolished.

"What if it is owned by a foreign embassy. Embassies cannot enjoy immunity from local civil laws. Let the MCD file a status report on the structure and place it before us at the next hearing," the Bench ordered.

First Published: Apr 24, 2006 19:40 IST