SUPREME COURT NOTICE TO CENTRE, DELHI ON SEALING ORDINANCE

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The Supreme Court has sought to issue notices to the Centre, Delhi Government and others on an application challenging a fresh Ordinance issued by the urban development ministry providing immunity against sealing / demolitions of all unauthorised constructions in the capital.

A bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat, C K Thakker and L S Panta asked the Union government, DDA, MCD and the Delhi government to file their replies within four weeks on the plea challenging the validity of the Ordinance.

The Delhi Pradesh Citizens’ Council, in its application filed through counsel Jasbir Singh Malik, said the provisions of The National Capital Territory of Delhi (Special Provisions) Second Ordinance, 2007 run contrary to the directions of the apex court in sealing case. It was nothing but to over-reach the court order, said applicant NGO.

The provisions of the Ordinance notified on September 15 are unconstitutional. Under Section 3 of the Ordinance, the violators of the law have been saved from sealing despite court order against them, said the application.

It is also violative of the undertaking given to the court to the effect that the authorities would take sealing exercise in respect of all areas which are not covered under the Master Plan for Delhi 2021, it stated.

The application further stated that the government has no authority to keep the enforcement of a court’s order or the civic bye-laws/regulations/statutes in abeyance as contemplated under the Ordinance in question.

The Centre has notified The National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second Ordinance, 2007, giving major relief against the sealing and demolition drive in such areas. Such immunity would continue till December 31, 2008 as per the Ordinance.

According to the Ordinance, formulated in terms of the 2021 Master Plan for Delhi (MCD), the immunity would cover all encroachments, unauthorised occupation of government or public land for residential or commercial or any other use, including unauthorised development.

The government decided to issue the second Ordinance as the earlier one issued on July 2007 lapsed on September 21.

Though a bill was introduced by the Centre in Parliament to replace the previous Ordinance, it could not materialise as the House adjourned sine die.
Hence, the fresh Ordinance repealing the previous one was issued by the government.

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