LE Correspondent

New Delhi, June 7, 2022: In a case where the petitioner-applicant was aggrieved by the fact that the Additional Senior Civil Judge had adjourned an application seeking stay of the proposed demolition of the petitioner’s premises on as many as seven occasions, without taking up the application for decision, the Delhi High Court has held that the applications for stay of demolition are required to be taken up expeditiously. 

The Bench of Justice C.Hari Shankar was of the opinion that the interests of justice would best be subserved if the petition was disposed of with a direction to the ASCJ to decide the application for stay of demolition in a time bound manner.

Referring to an order dated February 28, 2022, the Bench asserted, “At least in the order dated 28th February, 2022, the learned ASCJ is completely unjustified in “keeping pending” the prayer for stay of demolition, as made by the petitioner, even while acknowledging that the prayer was urgent, merely because the Junior Law Officer (JLO), who appeared for the EDMC, was not an authorised officer.”

The Bench laid emphasis on expeditious hearing in such matters and observed that if the Court is inhibited from doing so for any valid reason, interim protection ordinarily ought to be granted to the applicant as, once demolition takes place, the situation cannot be reversed and the damage is irreparable.

Hence, the Bench directed the parties to appear before the ASCJ on July 7, 2022, on which date the ASCJ would proceed to hear arguments on the petitioner’s application for stay of demolition, following which appropriate orders would be passed. Till the passing of the order on the petitioner’s application for stay of demolition, any proposed action for demolition of the petitioner’s property would stand stay, held the Bench.

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