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High Court issues notice on illegal encroachment near Jama Masjid

The Delhi High Court has issued notice to civic authorities on a plea seeking removal of illegal encroachment by shopkeepers and unauthorised squatters near heritage site Jama Masjid here.

A division bench of Justice B D Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva asked North Municipal Corporation of Delhi, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and other concerned civic authorities to file a status report on the plea within four weeks and posted the matter for March 16 for further hearing.

The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by Shamim through his counsel Adarsh Varma
on Wednesday.

In his plea, Shamim submitted that Archeological survey of India has prohibited organising markets nearby such sites, and even the court earlier had given clear directions that there should not be any encroachment in either form of shopkeepers and squatting around the vicinity of Jama Masjid.

But civic agencies are acting in collusion with the shopkeepers and unauthorised squatters to somehow help them to usurp the government land acquired for public purpose, the plea said.

“That the participation of unauthorized squatters and encroachment in functioning of the market is not only illegal but is also an immediate threat to the monument,” the lawyer said in his plea.

He said that land acquired for public purposes of construction of a park to serve the needs of general public is now being used for satisfying the personal greeds and civic authorities responsible for checking such illegal encroachment are merely acting as mute spectators. 
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