High Court Stays Secretariat Building Demolition

Hyderbaad: Two judge PIL panel of the Telangana High court on Friday stayed the ongoing demolition of the old Secretariat building. The panel comprising Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B Vijayasen Reddy on Friday temporarily stayed the demolition of existing Secretariat building.

Professor P L Vishweshwar Rao, Convenor Telangana Democratic Forum and Vice President of Telangana Jana Samithi filed a petition complaining that the demolition of 10 blocks of the Secretariat building occupying 10 lakh sq.feet area is without following the due procedure of law and more specifically the prodedure laid down under the Demolition and Construction Rules.

Chikudu Prabhaker, counsel for the petitioner also challenged construction of the new secretariat building in 7 Lakhs sq feet in the same place which is adjacent to the Hussain Sagar Lake Hyderabad as illegal. He further voiced concerns about the possible respiratory related problems to people if demolition takes place. He said in the existing COVID-19 situation the demolition impacts and aggravates the respiratory problems of the people living in the surroundings of the building.

The petitioner said the demolition decision is in violation of Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules 2016, Provisions of the Epidemic Diseases Act 1897, Environment Protection Act 1986 and against the provisions of the Disaster Management Act 2005. None of the procedures prescribed was followed and no permission was obtained from the local authorities in accordance with the Solid Waste Management Rules, said the petitioner.

It may be recalled that in an earlier round of litigation the court had refused to interdict the construction of the new Secretariat on the ground that it was a policy decision for the government to take and that the same was not a subject for judicial intervention. Even an oral application to stay the verdict to enable the petitioners to move the Apex court was rejected. The government then moved to demolish the structures.

The state Advocate General BS Prasad opposed the grant of stay and pointed out that all necessary permissions were taken before the demolition was taken up. The panel then called upon the Advocate General to place the same before it and directed the matter to be listed for hearing on Monday. In the interregnum the demolition work would be stopped.

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