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Delhi sealing: SC refuses to extend deadline
January 25, 2007 11:10 IST
Last Updated: January 25, 2007 19:05 IST
The Supreme Court on Thursday warned the Centre against making sealing issue a political matter and refused to extend the deadline of January 31 for the traders to file undertakings to stop the misuse of residential premises for commercial purposes in the national capital.
"Traders only had to file the affidavits. Where is the question of extending the time," a bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan said declining the request of the Centre to hear its application before the deadline.
"What is the need for extending the deadline," the Bench also comprising Justices Altamas Kabir and D K Jain observed when Additional Solicitor General Amrender Sharan mentioned the application of Ministry of Urban Development stating that in view of the upcoming Master Plan for Delhi 2021, the relief provided by its earlier orders of September 29 and October 18, 2006 be extended further.
When the ASG said if the relief sought by the Centre was not granted then the authorities would not be left with any option but to resume the sealing drive, the Bench shot back saying, "You do whatever you like."
The repeated submission by the ASG to consider its application before January 31 annoyed the Bench, which said, "Do not make this (sealing matter) a political matter."
At the outset, the application of the Centre and Municipal Corporation of Delhi was opposed by advocate Jasbir Singh Mallik, appearing for some residents welfare associations, contending that the court had already extended the deadline twice.
The Chief Justice said the applications of the Centre and the MCD and other related matters on sealing will be heard only on February 2. The ministry submitted that it was seeking extension of relief granted by the court's September 29 and October 18 order in view of the proposed Master Plan of Delhi-2021, which is likely to be notified shortly.
The court by its September 29 order had provided protection to the misusers covered under the controversial notifications of September 7 and 15 with a condition that they had to file the undertakings that they would shift the business activities if the the notifications and the Delhi Laws (Special Protection) Act, 2006 was ultimately held as invalid.
The Centre in its application said the Master Plan for Delhi-2021 was at an advanced stage of finalisation and all efforts were being made to notify it by the end of this month or early next month.
It has submitted that under these circumstances, the order for giving an undertaking by the occupant of the premises be suitably modified or reviewed as the previous notifications would no longer be applicable after the Master Plan gets notified.
All the 2,183 roads provided protection under the notifications will be covered the Master Plan which envisages mixed land use. The court in its October 18, 2006 order had clarified that there was no restraint for the issuance of Masterplan 2021.