The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) to submit within two weeks the list of its delinquent officers under whose watch rampant unauthorised construction came up in Sainik Farms area.
A division bench of Justice B.D. Ahmed and Justice Ashutosh Kumar said: “We want to know the officers who are going to jail. We are thinking of contempt. We have passed an order and they have not complied.”
The bench said this while contemplating contempt proceedings for non-compliance of its earlier order prohibiting any kind of construction or repair work in the colony.
There is a blanket ban on any construction activity in the Sainik Farms area since 2001, pursuant to a direction of the Delhi High Court. Even entry of construction material in the area is banned, which was to be checked by the SDMC and South Delhi police.
The court also sought the central government’s stand on whether it intends to regularise or demolish the unauthorised constructions at the Sainik Farms.
The court refused to accept the contention of the SDMC that a “majority of the unauthorised construction was of a minor nature — repair of pre-existing structures, adding or augmenting a boundary wall, putting flooring on drive ways, etc”.
To this, the court replied: “Minor repairs are also banned. The order was for restricting entry of any construction material. So, even this is illegal.”
The bench asked Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain, who appeared for the SDMC, why the corporation is adverse to a CBI inquiry. It added: “The CBI will identify quicker and faster. Why are you adverse to it? There is no proper inquiry at your level.”
The Vigilance Department of the SDMC is already looking for the names of officers and “beldars” (navvies) deployed at Sanik Farms during the relevant period, the ASG told the court.
The court was hearing a petition filed by NGO Paardarshita and some individuals alleging illegal construction in Sainik Farms.
The court has now posted the matter for February 22.