New Delhi - The Delhi High Court on Thursday made it clear that the authorities have to remove the Tibetan colony as it was unauthorised construction. A Bench comprising acting Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Kailash Gambhir, however, granted six weeks time to the Delhi government and ministry of external affairs (MEA) to ensure an allotment for the residents as Tibetans come under the special category.
The Bench also gave several directions with regard to the removal of unauthorised encroachment from the bank of river Yamuna. Strict directions were given to DDA and other civic agencies to ensure that no authorised religious structures should be demolished. This observation was made after advocate Ashok Bhan, appearing for the Pandas, claimed that the DDA had demolished an ancient hanuman temple on the river bank. ‘‘This temple finds a mention in the Puranas and the DDA has demolished it. The idols have been dumped. Let them not hurt the sentiments of a community,’’ Bhan said. Even as the DDA counsel attempted to explain the action, the judges commented: ‘‘We do not want a message to go down with the public that the courts are there to hurt the religious sentiments of the public.’’
Meanwhile, the court granted time to the Pandas to move an application before the Justice Usha Mehra committee after they said that the latter had not followed the high court directions to identify the real Pandas who perform the last rites at the ghats. ‘‘These Pandas have been given land by the British and are authorised to live there,’’ the advocate argued. The committee has been asked to consider the representation and decide allotment of alternative land for the genuine Pandas.
In a separate application, representatives of Chandgi Ram Akhara also approached the court seeking a stay on the demolition. Agreeing with the counsel that the Akhara had produced brilliant wrestlers, the court restrained the DDA from taking action. However, it asked the counsel to instruct its clients to remove the unauthorised construction on their own. ‘‘We shall consider giving an alternative land to you later,’’ the judges remarked.