Delhi High Court pulls up municipal council for callousness

December 1st, 2008 - 11:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghNew Delhi, Dec 1 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Monday pulled up New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) for its “callous attitude” towards a land acquisition case pending for over 30 years and asked the agency’s chairman to appear before it. A division bench of Justices A.K.Sikri and Manmohan Singh said that despite earlier observations, the NDMC did not act in a “proper manner”, and asked its chairman to appear in person Dec 3.

It was an admitted position that the NDMC had encroached upon and usurped the land belonging to the Guru Nanak Vidhya Bhandar Trust land in 1979, without formally acquiring it, the court said.

“More than 30 years have elapsed since the possession of the land was taken by the NDMC, and the petitioner is still trying to get proper compensation for acquisition of the land,” the court observed.

“The manner in which the suit earlier proceeded and now the present petition is prolonged, gives us an impression that not only the petitioner but even the court is taken for a ride,” it added.

In 1979, the Guru Nanak Vidya Bhandar Trust had filed a suit for recovery of a piece of land (9, Jantar Mantar Road) situated in the heart of the national capital. The land was used to extend the Tolstoy Marg from Janpath to the Parliament Street.

In March 2006, the court gave its judgment against the civic body, which was later challenged by it before a division bench and in the Supreme Court. On both occasions, those appeals were dismissed — in May 2007 and Oct 2007 respectively.

It was then that the NDMC initiated the process of land acquisition.

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