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Tough time for lawyers seeking exemption from sealing process

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Apr 13 (UNI) The Supreme Court, while refusing to grant total exemption to lawyers from the sealing process, today directed that they should go to the monitoring committee appointed by the apex court to oversee the process of sealing of commercial establishments operating from residential areas in Delhi.

A Bench, comprising Chief Justice Y K Sabharwal, Mr Justice C K Thakker and Mr Justice D K Jain, while adjourning the matter till Monday, made it clear that it will not pass a blanket order exempting lawyer's premises/offices from being sealed during the ongoing sealing process being carried out by the MCD under the apex Court order.

The Court also stated it was prepared to consider individual cases but such an issue cannot be taken up by an association on behalf of all the lawyers.

Senior Counsel Mukul Rohtagi appearing for the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) pleaded that the Master Plan of Delhi, which this court was enforcing itself, exempts professionals from being debarred from operating from residential areas.

The Court, however, clarified that what it was enforcing was property approved as residential being substantially used for commercial purposes and it covers all.

The Court vide its orders dated February 16, 2006 had directed that all commercial establishments operating from residential areas on 189 roads which are 80 feet wide shall be sealed in the first phase.

The Urban Development Ministry has also filed an application seeking stay against the ongoing sealing process for six months which is likely to come up for hearing next week.

The SCBA had earlier informed the court that Delhi High Court was also seized of the matter seeking exemptions for lawyers from the sealing process.

The Court also granted time till Monday to the SCBA for discussing the issue with other bar associations of Delhi including Delhi High Court Bar Association.

The SCBA has filed an application seeking complete exemption from sealing for lawyers who are having their offices in residential areas.

UNI AKS/SC KD AT HT1432

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