Remove encroachment from fort premises: SC

The Supreme Court has expressed its concern over the unauthorised occupation of substantial portion of the land in the precincts of 14th century’s Tughlakabad Fort, constructed by Sultan Giyasuddin Tughlaq here.

It also expressed its surprise over the failure of the Archaeological Survey of India to even identify the illegal occupants and take subsequent action in removing them.

A three-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice T S Thakur directed for providing police protection and other cooperation from Delhi government or any other authorities to the ASI to enable it take an action for removal of unauthorised construction and the encroachers from the public land.
The court said its direction passed on October 14, 2011, directing the ASI to file an affidavit indicating how many people were living in the protected monument of Tughlakabad Fort, on the basis of the aerial survey conducted in the year 1993 was yet to be complied with.

“Tughlakabad Fort is a protected monument and this Court has held in these proceedings that protection and preservation of the said monument is imperative. Repeated orders are passed to the effect that there would not be any further construction in the protected monument. The effect of the said orders is that ASI is to take an action for removal of unauthorised construction as also the encroachers from the public land,” the bench, also comprising Justices A K Sikri and R Banumathi, said.

The court said it is the legal as well as ethical obligation of the concerned authorities to protect the heritage site and to properly maintain the historic fort built during the Tughlak Dynasty in 1321-1325 A.D. The monument spread over an area of about 3000 bighas is considered one of the largest among all the forts in Delhi. It is also regarded as the third major in the city after Kila Rai Pithora, which was built by the Rajput Anang Pal Tomer, and the Siri Fort, which was built by Allaudin Khilji.

The court asked the Delhi HC to ensure implementation of its orders.

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