The Delhi high court has issued notices to two senior Archaeological Survey of India officials and Delhi police chief on a public interest litigation accusing ASI officials of swindling crores of rupees in the name of conservation of monuments in New Delhi.
A Division Bench of Chief Justice B C Patel and Justice S K Kaul asked
ASI Director-General Sri Baboo, Superintendent A K Sinha and Commissioner of Police K K Paul to file their replies by April 6, the next date of hearing.
Delhi-based nongovernmental organization Aman Bhaichara Samiti had filed the petition.
Meanwhile, the court appointed advocate Ajay Tandon as a local commissioner to inspect the sites and file a report with the court about the state of affairs at various monuments, including the Red Fort, Qutub Minar, Quila Rai Pithora, Humayun's Tomb and Purana Quila Museum.
The court also asked the petitioner to file an affidavit giving details of the activities and source of income of its members and office-bearers.
Petitioner's counsel Rakesh Tiku alleged that ASI officials were involved in corrupt practices in the name of conservation of monuments and were violating various laws.
After the army vacated the Red Fort premises in 2004-05, the authorities allegedly felled over 200 trees around the protected monument in the name of conservation.
The logs were sold to private contractors and the officials usurped the proceeds of over Rs 4 crore, he alleged.
Tiku complained that the police did not take any action despite being informed about the illegal activities.