Iconic structure was demolished earlier this week
Three days after the iconic Hall of Nations at Pragati Maidan was demolished, architect Raj Rewal told the Delhi High Court that he would be pressing for its “restitution”.
A Bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Anu Malhotra was on Thursday informed by Mr. Rewal’s counsel Roma Bhagat that he would seek restitution of the structure.
April 20 order challenged
Ms. Bhagat said this when Mr. Rewal’s appeal against the demolition came up for hearing.
The appeal had challenged a single judge order dated April 20, which upheld the decision of the Heritage Conservation Committee (HCC) that since the Hall of Nations was not 60 years old, it could not be considered a heritage structure. It was denied protection from demolition, which is to be undertaken as part of the redevelopment of Pragati Maidan into a world-class exhibition centre.
Matter pushed to Sept.
The Division Bench also asked Mr. Rewal if he would seek damages, to which Ms. Bhagat asked for time to file an amended appeal as Mr. Rewal will seek restitution.
Ms. Bhagat said the Hall of Nations, which was the largest cement frame structure in the world, can be rebuilt in one year if the appeal is allowed.
The Bench has now posted the matter for September.
Mr. Rewal, along with Mahendra Raj, had started work on the Hall of Nations in 1969.
It was completed in 1972. It was also included in INTACH’s list of 62 modern architectural marvels.
‘Not older than 60 years’
Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva had in his order dated April 20 dismissed Mr. Rewal’s petition to declare Hall of Nations modern heritage.
“It may be noted that the HCC has taken a conscious decision that only buildings older than 60 years will qualify to be considered as heritage. The buildings of present petition, are not older than 60 years and thus do not qualify to be considered as heritage structures. Since the decision of the HCC is not challenged, the view taken by the HCC will have to be accepted,” the court said.