Action comes after court ultimatum

NEW DELHI: A week after the Supreme Court gave it an ultimatum, the management of the Capital’s erstwhile amusement park Appu Ghar on Monday told the Court that it had handed over its 12.5-acre premises at Pragati Maidan to the Government.

Senior counsel Arun Jaitley, appearing for International Amusement Limited (IAL) which operated the amusement park for years before it shut down this past February, informed a Bench headed by Justice Arijit Pasayat about the handing over of the plot and sought a direction for the Delhi Development Authority to allot an alternative site for re-locating the popular amusement park.

On April 23, a Bench of Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice Aftab Alam had directed the amusement park owners to hand over the premises within three weeks to the Indian Trade Promotion Organisation and the Land & Development Authority, failing which the civic authorities would remove all “super structures” belonging to Appu Ghar at the site.

Though on November 30 last year the apex court had directed the amusement park to hand over the land, it did not do so following which the Bench gave it an ultimatum.

The Supreme Court, while taking on record the submission by Mr. Jaitley on Monday, posted for July the hearing on the application moved by the amusement park authorities seeking an alternative site in lieu of the Pragati Maidan land which is now to be used as part of the Supreme Court complex.

Plea turned down

The DDA had earlier had turned down the plea for an alternative site on the argument that the amusement park could not get any preferential allotment in the Capital.

“Neither there is any policy nor any precedent available to make any allotment of commercial land for such re-location,” the DDA had said, rejecting the plea of the amusement park management.

Appu Ghar, which is operating from Pragati Maidan site since 1987 through a lease agreement, was served with an eviction notice in 1999 under the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971 by the Government.

The apex court had also earlier dismissed the Appu Ghar’s plea challenging the eviction.

With the amusement park formally handing over the possession of the land to the Government, the stage is now set for construction of buildings to house offices of apex court and chambers of Supreme Court lawyers. -- PTI