SC lashes out at AAP for enroaching land allotted to Delhi High Court

New Delhi, Feb 14 (UNI) The Supreme Court on Tuesday lashed out at the Aam Aadmi Party for encroaching the land allotted to the Delhi High Court at Rouse Avenue and asked the government counsel to find out the timeline for removal of the AAP party office.

A bench comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) D Y Chandrachud, Justice J B Pardiwala, and Justice Manoj Misra said that the political party is sitting tight on the encroachment and it has to come to an end.

The bench said “What is this? We are not asking for judges’ bungalows. We are asking for public amenity. Why did you allot it to the high court then? Tell us when you are giving unencumbered possession to the high court?” the bench questioned, and asked the Delhi government counsel to find out the timeline for when this possession would be handed over to the Delhi High Court.

Court-appointed Amicus curiae K Parameshwar said, “Delhi High Court officials went to take possession of land allotted to them and they were not allowed to go inside as a political party’s office has been constructed there now. “

“The Political party office? the bench remarked. “if it is an encroachment? You cannot take law into your own hands, it is related to judicial infrastructure,” the bench said

The bench asked the government counsel when it was going to remove the encroachment.

Delhi’s principal secretary of law, Bharat Parashar, said, “The political party has been allotted by way of a Cabinet resolution. But now we have taken up the matter with the Land and Development Office (L&DO) and L&DO is in the process of handing over that portion of the land. And, we are in the process of allotting another portion of the land to the political party”.

Parashar informed the bench that the date of the Cabinet resolution by which the land was allotted to the political party is 2016. The bench asked,” What is the date of the allotment (of the land) to the high court.” Parashar said it was allotted to the high court in 2020. “We made the payment to L&DO and the remaining portion of 2.42 acres, we have already taken possession of the area which comprises a vacant portion, plus a road, and an existing CPWD office. Block 1 will be constructed over there and Block 2 will be at the place where a political party (office) exists,” Parashar told the court.

On being asked by the court to show some photographs of encroachment, Parameshwar told the court, “We have videos. We went to take possession; we were not allowed to take possession”.

Parashar said ‘it was a bungalow that was earlier in possession of a minister, which is now occupied by the political party.’

The Top Court directed the Chief Secretary of GNCTD, the Secretary incharge of the public works department (PWD), and the Finance Secretary to convene a meeting together with the Registrar General of the high court, to settle all outstanding issues without waiting for further directions.

The court fixed the matter for further hearing on Monday.

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