Steps taken to evict encroachers from 990 Waqf plots: HC told

New Delhi: The AAP government today told the Delhi High Court it was taking steps to enforce the pending eviction orders against encroachers of 990 Waqf properties in the national capital.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar was also informed by Delhi government that the officers will be directed to take action against the encroachers.

“The Divisional Commissioner will have interface through video-conferencing with all the District Magistrates and the Sub Divisional Magistrates and other concerned revenue authorities to take a call for execution of order passed under the Waqf Act to remove encroachments,” Delhi government’s additional standing counsel Naushad Ahmed Khan said.

The court listed the matter for hearing on January 22.

Earlier the bench had directed the Delhi government, Waqf Board and other authorities to file an action taken report (ATR) with regard to the recovery of properties, failing which it “shall be compelled to initiate action against the officer concerned of the area”.

The court had issued the direction during the hearing of a PIL filed by advocate Shahid Ali on 990 waqf properties, claiming these have already been ordered to be vacated from illegal and unauthorised occupation of encroachers under the Waqf Act, but the concerned sub-divisional magistrates were not enforcing the orders.

Earlier, the court had asked the counsel for the Revenue Authority, under which all sub-divisional magistrates of Delhi fall, why were the Waqf laws framed and what was their utility if there was no intention to enforce them.

The counsel in his plea said that between 2006 and 2013, SDMs had been requested to get the properties vacated through police circle officers.

Earlier, these officers had the power to get the properties vacated, but through an amendment in 2013 in the Waqf Act, this right was transferred to the Waqf tribunal, the plea has said.

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