DDA pleads to HC to drop contempt proceeding against it

DDA pleads to HC to drop contempt proceeding against it

"In compliance with the directions of this court, a demolition programme was fixed on January 12 in consultation with police department and illegal/unauthorised structure that is a mosque called 'Noor Masjid', its boundary wall and a newly constructed tin shed were removed and about 350 square metre DDA land has been reclaimed," the DDA told a bench headed by Justice G S Sistani.

Seeking dropping of the contempt proceedings, which were initiated by the High Court for non-compliance of its earlier order, the agency also tendered "an unqualified apology" for its failure to reclaim the land earlier.

"It has the greatest respect for the court ...the respondent (DDA) submits that its has not violated the judgement/order of this court," the DDA said in its affidavit.

It also submitted its compliance report to the High Court's order for reclaiming encroached public land, annexing the same with photographs taken after the demolition of the mosque at Jangpura in south Delhi.

The court had in 2006 issued contempt notice to the DDA on a petition of Jangpura Residents' Welfare Association, represented by advocate R K Saini, alleging that its direction to demolish the illegal structure had not been complied with.

Taking the DDA's affidavit on record, Justice Sistani fixed the matter for further hearing on March one.

Meanwhile, during the day, Delhi Wakf Board (DWB) approached a larger bench of the court seeking modification of its earlier order to the DDA to demolish the mosque allegedly built on the encroached land.

"How can we set aside the order by entertaining your writ petition. If we allow you (DWB) to argue and something else is found then we will impose a heavy cost of Rs one lakh on you because you are a statutory body," the bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said.

Taking serious note of the petition, the bench said that the right forum was the Wakf Tribunal and not the court.

"How can the order of a division bench can be set aside by another and moreover, the writ petition was not filed under the Constitution of India," the court remarked, while allowing the petitioner to withdraw the plea.

"The petition is permitted to be withdrawn," it said.

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