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Bill against demolition is an eyewash, says BJP

By Super

New Delhi, May 12: The Bharatiya Janata Party today said the Delhi Laws (Special Provision) Bill, passed by the Lok Sabha today, to stop demolition and sealing operation for a year and maintain the status quo was merely an 'eyewash' as it was not going to solve the real problem.

Describing the legislation as ''too late and too little'', BJP Parliamentary Party spokesman Vijay Kumar Malhotra said even as Parliament was adopting the legislation, the demolition and sealing drive continued in the capital today also. He said the Bill did not say anything about the affidavit submitted by those whose shops had been sealed stating that they would shift their shop from the location within a stipulated time.

If these shops did not do so, they might be hauled up for contempt of court, he pointed out.

The BJP leader said they had been raising this issue for the past six months, four or five times it was raised in the Lok Sabha and twice in the Rajya Sabha, but the government never paid any heed to resolve the problem of unauthorised construction in the capital.

Besides, the Bill gave no respite to those whose property had either been demolished or shops sealed in the past. It should have given some compensation to those people also, he said.

BJP sources, however, said the Bill would not be able to stand the scrutiny of the Supreme Court and the Delhi High Court order for demolition of unauthorised construction and the present drive would continue.

The sources said the High Court and the Supreme Court had issued its order under Article 226 of the Constitution which cannot be taken away by even the Constitutional amendment. The simple legislation adopted by Parliament could only be implemented against the Civil court order against some demolition but not that of these courts' directives, they pointed out.

According to the sources, the court would 'read down' the legislation instead of quashing it as the law could not meddle with the court's directive against the demolition drive.


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