HC Bench says petition moved by architect Raj Rewal doesn’t challenge heritage panel guidelines
....Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva dismissed Mr. Rewal’s petition against the demolition of Hall of Nations. Mr. Rewal had designed the Hall of Nations, the largest cement frame structure in the world, in 1969.
Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva dismissed Mr. Rewal’s petition against the demolition of Hall of Nations. Mr. Rewal had designed the Hall of Nations, the largest cement frame structure in the world, in 1969.
The court relied on the decision of the Heritage Conservation Committee (HCC), which held that the Hall of Nations wasn’t a heritage structure since it was less than 60-year-old. The HCC had earlier this year rejected the recommendation of a sub-committee that had held it as heritage structure.
Justice Sachdeva said the petition moved by Mr. Rewal didn’t challenge the HCC’s guidelines, which accord heritage status to buildings that are at least 60-year-old.
The Bench reiterated its query, if at all the guidelines or the HCC’s decision have been challenged. The judge, however, said his decision wouldn’t affect Mr. Rewal’s right under the Copyright Act for seeking damages if a work of art is modified or mutilated.
Mr. Rewal’s counsel Roma Bhagat said they would move an appeal against the single-judge order at the earliest, most likely by Friday, to ensure the demolition doesn’t start. While the court dismissed Mr. Rewal’s petition, a petition moved by INTACH couldn’t be heard and has been listed for hearing on May 1.
During the nearly two-hour long hearing on Mr. Rewal’s petition, Ms. Bhagat relied on global support against demolition of the Hall of Nations. “It’s for the first time that the International Union of Architects have passed a resolution against the demolition of any structure that is a watershed moment in architectural history.”
Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, however, argued that the Hall of Nations was not one of a kind.
The India Trade Promotion Organisation said the demolition is to be completed by May 31, with work on redevelopment to start from June 1. It added that any interference from court would stall the project, which is set to generate employment and foreign funding.