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The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to take suitable actions for taking back possession of land encroached by Delhi legislator Asif Mohammad Khan for running an illegal zoo.

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice AK Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw hearing a public suit seeking the removal of illegal constructions on DDA land by the legislator, also referred the case to the Delhi Lokayukta to initiate appropriate enquiry in the case.

The petition filed by Kamran Siddique alleged that Khan, who represents Okhla constituency, encroached on about 5 bighas (1.25 hectare) of DDA land and was running an illegal zoo on the land.

Accepting the plea that Khan had illegally encroached the DDA land, the bench directed the director of Wildlife Preservation to carry out the inspection of the land immediately and take necessary action.

“Director, Wildlife Preservation to carry out the inspection immediately to find out the ground reality and take proper action,” the court said.

The court, going through the site map and demarcation report submitted by the counsel of Delhi government, also ordered that surprise inspection would also be carried out in future to prevent him from encroaching the land again.

“The MLA (legislator) has encroached about 5 bigha land of DDA bearing khasra no.409, village Jasola, New Delhi and he is running the illegal zoo on the encroached land,” the petition said.

Seeking registration of a criminal case against the sitting MLA on charges of criminal trespass and land grabbing, the petition added that Khan’s act was in contravention of provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and Wildlife Protection Act and the court should direct the police to take action against him.

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