Sealing: regular bench to consider allegations of inaction, says SC

New Delhi:  Already seized with the contentious issue of sealing of unauthorised constructions in the national capital,the Supreme Court today left it to its bench, to consider the allegations of inaction by civic bodies in going ahead with the sealing drive.

A vacation bench comprising justices U U Lalit and Deepak Gupta said that reports filed in this regard by the monitoring committee, which is mandated by the top court to identify and seal unauthorised constructions in Delhi, should be considered by the regular bench which is hearing the matter.
In its two reports, the committee has claimed that civic agencies, including the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), have refused to carry out the sealing drive on the grounds that amendments in the Master Plan of Delhi-2021 were not finalised yet and the issue of notifying mixed-land use along 351 roads was pending in the apex court.

“We are sitting in a vacation court. We have not dealt with the matter. Another bench is dealing with it,” the bench said, adding, “Let this matter be listed before the regular bench”.

Justice Lalit also observed that the Delhi government’s application on the issue relating to notifying mixed-land use along 351 roads here was under consideration of a bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur that had posted it for hearing on July 11.

The move of notifying mixed-land use along 351 roads is intended to avoid sealing drive against commercial establishments along these roads.

“Why should we, at this juncture, hear this?,” the bench said, adding, “the application (by Delhi government) was not rejected outright (by the court) then why we should change the course?”
“If that bench had granted you time (to respond), this means that they must have something in mind,” the bench said.
“We deem it appropriate that report numbers 120 and 121 (filed by the committee) be listed before the bench taking up these matters on July 11. We give liberty to the amicus curiae to mention the matter before the court immediately after re-opening of court in case of any urgency,” the bench said.
On June 12, the amicus had mentioned the matter before the bench for urgent listing.

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