The Supreme Court’s Vacation Bench of Justices R.K.Agrawal and Deepak Gupta, on Wednesday, June 14, issued notices to respondents on an appeal against the Delhi High Court’s judgment in Savyasachi K.Sahai v Union of India and Others, delivered on June 5 by the bench of the Acting Chief Justice, Gita Mittal and Justice C.Hari Shankar, against unauthorised encroachment of Government land in the Capital.
The appeal was filed by Mohammad Shakeel and others, on the ground that land alleged to have been encroached, was in fact, a Wakf property, and it was the Wakf Board which had given the land to the homeless people, for shelter. Senior advocate, Sanjay Hegde appeared for the appellants.
In its judgment, the Delhi High Court dismissed the review petition filed by four applicants including Shakeel, seeking review of its order dated May 16 this year, in which the Court had directed the Centre to remove unauthorised encroachment and construction in the Tikona Park, also known as Amir Khusroo Park, in the Capital. This is a triangular piece of land, measuring 12.8 acre, bounded by major roads in all three sides.
After examining the evidence placed before it, the High Court held that the the review petitioner had no locus standi to intervene in the present writ petition and had no legal right to remain in occupation of any portion of the tikona graveyard park also known as Amir Khusro Park.
“It is clearly evident from the pleadings of the review petitioners that they are attempting to and had caused encroachments over the park in which they have no right, title or interest. The same is completely impermissible”, the High Court had held.
The High Court further held: “ The review petitioners are not only indulging in efforts to grab the land of the park but have also committed fraud by renting out portions and taking rent and other charges and carrying out commercial usage on the land. These fraudulent activities would be penal offences under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code and municipal law. Unfortunately, the authorities or local police have failed to comply with the court orders as above. The police has also failed to conduct any investigation into the gross illegalities at the spot or to ensure compliance with the law.”
A night shelter inside the park has already been demolished under the directions of the High Court. The night shelter housed 50-60 children and around 60 women, who were left homeless, after the demolition.
While the High Court sought to ensure that those who were left homeless, were accommodated in the other shelter homes in the vicinity, it made it clear that the park has to be preserved and squatters can’t be allowed to stay inside the park.
The case will be heard by the Supreme Court on July 11.