The Delhi High Court on Tuesday, 17 May, expressed concerns regarding the raising of religious structures in the city in the middle of roads without permission from authorities.
"How will a civilised society survive like this, if we have things coming up in the middle of the road? You have to send a message, loud and clear, that this will not be tolerated," the bench, comprising Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla, told the state government, as per LiveLaw.
The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) which highlighted the matter of encroachment and the construction of religious structures in the middle of roads in Delhi's Bhajanpura area. The petitioner, named SD Windlesh, said that such constructions were obstructing traffic and causing inconvenience to locals.
'Come Down on Encroachers With an Iron Hand': Court Tells Govt
The Delhi government, represented by lawyer Gautam Narayan, said in its response that the matter regarding demolition of alleged illegal structures was pending before the Supreme Court.
The court also said that photographs annexed along with the petition displayed a "shocking" state of affairs. However, it gave the respondent time to produce relevant documents for the record.
"We are at a loss to understand as to how the state can be a mute bystander and allow such illegalities to occur," the court said, as per LiveLaw.
It further added, "In our view, (the) state should take a clear, definite and firm stand in such cases and come down with an iron hand to send a message to encroachers that such encroachment would not be tolerated and they will be removed as soon as they are sought to be raised and penal action will also be taken against those who are behind raising such structures."
The bench also sought a status report regarding appropriate action taken with regard to the matter.
The next hearing of the case was slated for 16 November.
(With inputs from LiveLaw.)