The Delhi High Court has directed the Chief Secretary, Delhi to hold a meeting with the senior officials of other authorities to discuss a comprehensive plan for the resettlement of the residents of Tughlakabad Fort area.

The bench of Justice Pratibha M Singh was dealing with the plea filed by Mazdoor Awas Samiti, which claims to represent the residents of the Tughlakabad village.

The petitioners had prayed for alternate resettlement and rehabilitation for all the affected residents of the Tughlakabad village who are affected by the demolition notice issued by the ASI.

“…let a meeting be called by the Chief Secretary of GNCTD with the senior officials from the DDA, DUSIB, MCD, ASI, Delhi Police as also the concerned District Magistrate on 20th February, 2023.

In the said meeting, a proper comprehensive plan for the resettlement/rehabilitation of the residents of Tughlakabad Fort area be discussed and the same be placed on record within 4 week.”, the Court directed.

Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves who appeared for the petitioners had submitted that the intention of the residents is not to create any obstruction in the action being taken by the Respondents.

He submitted that considering the large number of families which are going to be affected, some immediate rehabilitation/resettlement measures ought to be taken by the authorities.

The Court noted that the Supreme Court in S.N. Bhardwaj v. Archeological Survey of India has recognised unequivocally the identity of Tughlakabad Fort and the requirement to ensure that the said Fort is preserved as a ‘protected monument’.

The Counsel for the petitioner submitted that it is not in dispute that Tughlakabad Fort has to be treated as a protected monument. He further added that a rehabilitation plan may be created and placed before the Court so that the phased movement of all the residents in the Tughlakabad Fort area can be commenced.

The Court directed the authorities concerned to ensure that the resettlement plan is put up before the Court without any delay.

Cause Title- Mazdoor Awaas Samiti v. Union of India & Ors.

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