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Only the old structures would be preserved and the new ones will have to be demolished, said Court

The Delhi High Court on Monday took a tough stance on encroachment of public places in Delhi and said that any sort of  illegal encroachments or unauthorised construction, whether it is a temple, a mosque or a church, cannot be allowed anywhere in the national capital.

A bench comprised of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar ordered that only the old structures would be preserved and the new ones will have to be demolished.

“Even if there are illegal encroachments or unauthorised constructions in mandir (temple), masjid (mosque) or church, they cannot be allowed to continue. Law has to be enforced and only the old structures will be preserved,” the Delhi HC said, adding that “no old structures will be touched”.

The directive came during the hearing of an appeal filed by an Imam of masjid Ilahi Khan, inside the Amir Khusro Park near Sundar Nagar in South Delhi, who sought a stay on the demolition of the structure on the ground that it was an old mosque.

Taking note of this, the court said it will direct the authorities to do a chemical testing in order to find out since when the mosque has been there.

“We are painfully ensuring that the law is enforced,” the court said and asked the agencies to file an affidavit stating when was the last repair work done for masjid Ilahi Khan at Amir Khusro park located within the Nizamuddin Dargah complex.

The court also sought details about its existence and said if it was notified as a Waqf property, it will be protected.

Earlier on June 1, the Delhi High Court had  passed another order related to illegal encroachment, stating that no encroachment can be permitted in the ridge areas of the National Capital as they are primary natural features.

A study released by Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) in 2016 has revealed that along with poor maintenance and roadside parking, encroachment is also one of the major factors which lead to congestion on internal roads in Delhi.

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