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Hours After SC Orders Status Quo, NDMC Halts Demolition in Jahangirpuri

Local police and paramilitary forces have been deployed in Jahangirpuri area; Anti-Riot Force has been asked to remain vigilant while senior officers have been deployed on ground.

Jahangirpuri

Bulldozers arrived in the area around 9 am on Wednesday, April 20, a few days after communal violence broke out in Jahangirpuri, North Delhi, and began demolishing properties.

A Supreme Court bench headed by the Chief Justice of India NV Ramana ordered status quo on a mention made by senior advocate Dushyant Dave.

“Unconstitutional, unauthorised demolition is taking place in Jahangirpuri where riots took place. No notice was served so that reply is served in 10 days,” Dave said.

The senior advocate further said, “There is a provision for appeal under the Municipal Corporation Act. We have filed a provisional application. It was supposed to start at 2PM but they started the demolition today (Wednesday) morning at 9 knowing that we will mention.”

The CJI then responded, “We direct status quo. We will list it tomorrow (Thursday).”

A PIL (public interest litigation) has been filed by Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind seeking directions to the Central and State governments that no residential accommodation or commercial property be demolished as a punitive measure, which was also mentioned before the CJI by senior advocate Kapil Sibal.

However, the drive continued in Jahangirpuri despite the Supreme Court’s order.

According to the Indian Express, 12 CRPF companies (about 1,250 people) have been deployed in and around the area.

Dave then returned to the court saying the destruction was still going on. CJI Ramna immediately requested the Judicial Registry to send the order to the DCP and police.

At around 12:45 p.m., police at the scene told reporters that the demolition had stopped. After a while, the bulldozer was removed from the scene.

The BJP-led North Delhi Municipal Corporation launched a downgrade campaign in the Jahangirpuri area on Wednesday and Thursday. The civic body demanded 400 Delhi Police officers for the trip.

NDMC mayor Raja Iqbal Singh said the Supreme Court order would be followed and necessary action would be taken accordingly as the order came shortly after the demolition campaign began. NDMC Commissioner Sanjay Goel said the civic body would read the order first and then take action accordingly.

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