On Wednesday, the Supreme Court halted the anti-encroachment drive by authorities in the violence-hit Jahangirpuri area of Delhi after considering a plea of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind that buildings of Muslim riots accused are being razed. Acting on the plea, the Supreme Court has scheduled a hearing on Thursday.
Here are the developments so far: In 10 Points
1. A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana, which ordered maintaining of status quo concerning the demolition of buildings in the forenoon, intervened again during the day after it was apprised that the authorities were not stopping on the ground that no official communication has been received by them.
2. Taking note of the submissions of senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for the Muslim body, the bench, also comprising Justices Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli, directed the apex court Secretary-General to convey its morning order to stop demolition to the NDMC (North Delhi Municipal Corporation) mayor, commissioner and the Delhi police commissioner immediately.
3. The senior advocate said that the order of the apex court was widely reported by the media in the morning and still the authorities were not acting as per it.
4. Dave alleged that the demolition, which was to start at 2 pm on Wednesday, has begun at 9 am and no mandatory notice, granting time for response, for demolition has been served on the alleged violators.
5. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, also appearing for the Muslim body, mentioned another petition in which a direction to the Centre and some states including Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh has been sought asking them not to take “precipitative actions” like razing buildings in criminal proceedings against riots accused.
6. Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, in its separate plea, has sought a direction to the Centre and the states, where buildings are being razed in criminal proceedings, that such an action be not taken. This was filed in the wake of recent actions taken by authorities in Madhya Pradesh to use bulldozers to raze properties of those accused of rioting during the Ram Navami celebrations.
7. When the demolition drive was being carried on, senior CPI(M) leaders, Brinda Karat, reached the spot to stop the demolition and appealed to the residents of Jahagirpuri for peace.
8. The North Delhi Municipal Corporation said that such anti-encroachment drives are regular in Delhi. "Such encroachment removal drives on public roads is done regularly in all wards /Zones by North DMC with/without notice under section 321/322/323/325 of the MCD Act, 1957 with prior intimation to local police," the statement read.
9. The anti-encroachment drive was ordered following Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta’s letter to the mayor, asking him to identify illegal constructions by "rioters" and demolish them.
10. Police are keeping a strict vigil in the area following clashes that broke out in the area. Jahangirpuri in north Delhi had witnessed violent clashes, including stone-pelting, arson, and firing, between two communities during a Hanuman Jayanti procession on Saturday. Eight police personnel and a local resident had sustained injuries.
(with inputs from PTI)