The Delhi High Court, led by a bench featuring Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet PS Arora, expressed deep concern over the rampant unauthorized construction plaguing the city.

The court hinted at the possibility of initiating a CBI investigation to probe the lapses of various authorities in preventing unauthorized construction near centrally-protected landmarks such as Nizamuddin ki Baoli and Barakhamba Tomb.

During the proceedings, the bench lamented the collective failure of multiple agencies tasked with curbing unauthorized construction, warning that such negligence could result in “complete lawlessness” within the city, ultimately leading to systemic collapse.

The court emphasized its inclination towards transferring the investigation to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to scrutinize the roles of authorities, including the Delhi Police, in addressing the issue. It urged for accountability to be established, considering the shocking failure of multiple agencies on the ground level.

The litigation stemmed from a public interest plea filed by the NGO Jamia Arabia Nizamia Welfare Education Society, highlighting illegal construction activities near the Baoli gate of Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah, adjacent to a police booth.

The High Court observed the lack of action from entities like the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) against the unauthorized construction, particularly concerning the erection of three additional floors atop a previously sealed guesthouse situated on DDA land near the monuments.

Earlier, the court likened encroachments on public land to acts of dacoity (robbery) and urged the MCD to leverage technology such as drones and satellite imagery for enhanced vigilance.

Expressing dissatisfaction with the situation, the court criticized the officials for their “serious dereliction of duty,” emphasizing the need for proactive measures in response to alerts from the police and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

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