SC Expresses Shock Over Political Party’s Office on Delhi HC Plot

The Supreme Court expressed its shock upon learning that a political party’s office is situated on a plot allocated to the Delhi High Court.

A bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud was surprised when apprised of the alleged encroachment on the land designated for the Delhi High Court.

The court was hearing a matter concerning judicial infrastructure across the country. Amicus Curiae K Parameshwar informed the Supreme Court that Delhi High Court officials attempted to take possession of the allotted land but were obstructed, and a political party office has since been constructed there.

The CJI remarked, “No one can take the law into their own hands,” questioning how a political party could occupy the land. The Court directed the Chief Secretary of the Delhi government, the Secretary to the Delhi Public Works Department, and the Finance Secretary to the Delhi government to convene a meeting with the Registrar General of the Delhi High Court to resolve the issue.

The matter was scheduled for further hearing next week.

In the previous hearing, the Supreme Court issued several directives to the Delhi Government regarding the construction of judicial infrastructure in the national capital. In compliance with the court’s order, a meeting chaired by the Acting Chief Justice of the High Court of Delhi was held, attended by various officials including the Chief Secretary, GNCTD, Principal Secretary (Law), Principal Secretary (PWD), Secretary (Finance), and other GNCTD and L&DO officers in mid-December. The meeting resulted in various decisions being made.

Construction of a residential project comprising 70 units for judicial officers commenced in Dwarka in October 2014. However, the construction was halted due to structural defects endangering the project. A report submitted by Central Building Research Institute (CBRI), Roorkee highlighted substandard construction quality, leading to the project’s suspension. The court noted the need for a final decision on the future course of action regarding the residential project in Dwarka as there are no other ongoing projects for constructing residential units for judicial officers in Delhi.

The L&DO of the Union government was directed to ensure expeditious handover of the vacant area for the Rouse Avenue Project to the High Court of Delhi, with a deadline set for December 31, 2023, as per the top court’s instructions.

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte