The Delhi High Court Thursday pulled up the Delhi Development Authority for sealing 65 flats in the Commonwealth Games Village near the Yamuna river. The housing agency was told to de-seal within two days the houses belonging to a group of petitioners.
Criticising and rejecting the DDA contention that the flats had been built in violation of the floor area ratio (built-up area) limit, Justice Hima Kohli said: “Why did you seal the flats which were allotted to people? Is it your statutory duty to pick and choose? What were your officers doing all these years when the builder had exceeded the FAR limit?”
Justice Kohli sought the DDA’s explanation over the reason for sealing flats in only two towers – number 5 and 15 – but not in other 32 towers.
The court directed the housing agency to de-seal the flats of eight petitioners within two days.
The court was hearing CWG Allottees Welfare Association’s plea against the DDA’s action that the agency had ignored its earlier order and had failed to honour its words that it would not take any coercive steps against allottees till the urban development ministry took a final decision on the issue.
According to the association, the DDA was in possession of the entire project comprising 1,168 flats.
“The allottees were at a loss in the fight between the developer and the agency and that instead of issuing the completion certificate to the project developer, the agency had arbitrarily sealed the flats only in two towers,” said the petition.
The DDA sealed 65 flats Oct 29, saying the order to seal the towers was issued by the building department, even while the housing agency was waiting for a final decision of the ministry.
Two of the 34 towers have been sealed. Tower number 5 has 28 flats and tower number 15 has 36 flats. One flat on the top floor of tower number 7 was also sealed.
The DDA had earlier tried to seal these towers but was not allowed to do so by the appellate tribunal of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, the petition said.