<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court today said that if the central government does not want to retain the ‘Hall of Nations’ at Pragati Maidan here, how can it be forced to do so. “If the government does not want it, can it be forced to retain it?” Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva said to the lawyer for the building’s architect Raj Rewal who has also moved court to protect the structure from demolition. The court refused to pass any interim orders staying demolition of the building as sought by the architect nor did it clarify that there was no stay on demolition as sought by ITPO. The India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) said it has decided to demolish Pragati Maidan, including the Hall of Nations, to set up a world-class exhibition centre there and wanted an order clarifying there was no stay. The court said it will not pass any such order, but observed that it has not issued any interim direction in the matter. On the architect’s plea to stay the demolition of the Hall of Nations, the court said it can only ask the government to look into whether the structure ought to be protected, but such an exercise has already been carried out by the Heritage Conservation Committee (HCC), a statutory body, which has decided not to protect the building. The court’s observation came during brief hearing of the plea by the architect and one by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) which has sought protection of 62 buildings, including Hall of Nations, in the national capital. The court could not take up both the matters post-lunch as the judge was not available and therefore, INTACH’s plea was listed for hearing on April 17 and the architect’s matter would be taken up on March 30. (More)(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Credit: 

Can govt be forced to retain Hall of Nations? HC asks