The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has been instructed by the Delhi High Court to take necessary steps to acquire ownership of two public parks adjacent to Jama Masjid.
During a hearing on the encroachments in parks near Jama Masjid in Old Delhi, the court emphasised that if police assistance is requested, it should be promptly provided, Indian Express reported.
The division bench of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Mini Pushkarna directed the MCD to take action in accordance with the law after counsel for MCD stated that the North park and South park adjacent to Jama Masjid, despite being public parks, are not in their possession.
The bench emphasised that a statutory authority cannot be deprived of possession of public parks. They instructed the MCD to submit a new status report within four weeks.
The next hearing for the plea is scheduled for 21 December.
The MCD's counsel stated that the civic body is permitted to enter the South park to carry out maintenance, but the gates are closed by the mosque authorities afterwards. However, the MCD is not granted entry into the North park.
Upon reviewing a 28 July order of the High Court, the bench observed that the counsel representing the Shahi Imam/Managing Committee of Jama Masjid had requested additional time to obtain instructions on the matter.
The bench noted that the Shahi Imam/managing committee of Jama Masjid had failed to appear despite the matter being called twice.
During the proceedings, the court conveyed to the counsel representing the MCD that a public park should be accessible to all citizens as it is held in trust for the public. The counsel was reminded of their accountability towards the public.
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