New Delhi: The Supreme Court has ruled that
no construction activities are to be allowed within 100 metres
of protected monuments under the Ancient Monuments and
Archaeological Sites and Remains Act 2010 in the country
including national capital`s Jantar Mantar area.
A bench of justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly warned
if effective steps are not taken to enforce the Act,
historical monuments like Jantar Mantar would become "extinct"
and "become part of history."
The apex court passed the judgement while setting aside a
Delhi High Court verdict which, even while holding that
construction of multi-storyed buildings near the Jantar Mantar
area was illegal, directed the Centre to review the provisions
of the Act for relaxing the norms to allow construction.
"Therefore, in the name of development and accommodating
the need for multi-storeyed structures, the High Court could
not have issued a mandamus to the central government to
review/reconsider notification dated 16.6.1992 and that too
by ignoring that after independence a large number of
protected monuments have been facing the threat of extinction
and if effective steps are not taken to check the same, these
monuments may become part of history.
"One of such monument is Jantar Mantar, New Delhi. Some
of its instruments have become unworkable/non functional,"
Justice Singhvi writing the judgement said.
The bench passed the ruling while upholding an appeal
filed by the Archaeological Survey of India challenging the
unauthorised construction of private apartments in the Jantar
Mantar area in contravention of the Act.