A MEMORIAL FOLLY
In July, 2004, some newspapers highlighted an outrageous perpetration which had been going on for sometime in the construction of a Police Memorial at the crossing of Shanti Path and Panchsheel Marg, claimed to be part of beautiful lay-out of Lutyen’s Delhi. The steel structure had already been erected very high, to an extent that the view of dome of Rashtrapati Bhawan was being obstructed. Height of the ultimate Memorial was supposed to exceed even the height of India Gate.
From COMMON CAUSE we planned to take this matter to the Supreme Court in the shape of Writ Petition. Meanwhile, we submitted a Representation to the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India to take Suo Moto action to stop the construction of such a Memorial. It would be an ugly imposition on the entire outlay. We later learnt that some prominent citizens of Delhi had taken this matter in the shape of Writ Petition to Delhi High Court which took immediate action and directed to stop all further consturction of the Memorial. This was a very welcome step, taken on the initiative of citizens of Delhi. On our letter to the Chief Justice of India we received information from the Registrar that the matter had already been decided by Delhi High Court.
We reproduce hereunder a copy of the letter addressed to the Chief Justice of India along with copy of one of the press cuttings where this problem was highlighted.
July 15, 2004
Hon’ble Chief Justice of India,
Tilak Mark, New Delhi - 110001.
SUBJECT : “MEMORIAL FOLLY” BEING PERPETUATED IN LUTYEN’S DESIGN OF DELHI.
Your Lordship may have seen reports in the newspapers about some prominent citizens of Delhi having sent representations to the President of India, the Prime Minister, the Home Minister and the Minister of Urban Development about Police Memorial being built at the crossing of Shanti Path and Panchsheel Marg which are prominent areas of Delhi.
The newspapers have highlighted this outrageous perpetration in the photographs which show the huge steel structure that is being built, which is reported to have been designed as a structure higher than India Gate, and which, as will be evident from the reproduced photographs, will obstruct the view even of the dome of Rashtrapati Bhawan. Prominent citizens have condemned the perpetration that is being created. Their condemnation has been quoted in the newspapers. I enclose photo-copies of the write-ups alongwith the photographs which have appeared in (i) The Hindu (ii) The Times of India (iii) The Hindustan Times and (iv) The Indian Express.
We request that your Lordship may kindly take Suo Moto notice of this serious development and issue notices to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Urban Development and, if necessary, the Prime Minister’s Office. An amicus curiae may kindly be appointed to help the Hon’ble Court to deal with this case.
Advanced years (92 years) and certain physical problems have disabled the undersigned from appearing before Your Lordship for personally making this Submission, for which I convey my apologies and regrets.
H. D. Shourie, Director