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Sealing: Centre likely to present plea on Oct 30

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Oct 29: The Centre is most likely to mention its application tomorrow in the Supreme Court to seek relief for over 40,000 traders who had filed affidavit ealier, to get it listed for hearing at the earliest, most probably on October 31.

The commercial premises of 40, 814 traders who had filed affidavits of undertaking stating that they would stop the misuse by June 30, this year are to be sealed from November 1 if they fail to close their shops latest by October 31 as per the orders of the apex court dated September 29, 2006.

The Centre is going to pray for extension of the deadline for these traders till January 31, 2007 on the grounds that other traders who had not filed the affidavits had also been allowed to continue till January 31, 2007 if they are protected by the notifications dated September 7 and September 15, 2006 permitting mix land use along 2183 roads in Delhi.

It may, however, not be easy for the Centre and the MCD to get relief for about 41, 000 traders as the Supreme Court has already refused to entertain the petition of the traders for extension of time and the efforts of the Solicitor General of India G E Vahanvati to seek extension of deadline have also drawn a blank.

If violence breaks out during the three-day bandh called by the traders then it may also prove to be counter productive for the interest of the traders as the apex court had earlier disapproved the violent incident which took place in the Seelampur area of East Delhi on September 20, this year during the bandh against the sealing of commercial establishment operating from residential areas in violation of the Delhi Master Plan 2001.

Interestingly, the directions for sealing have been issued by the Supreme Court on an appeal filed by MCD challenging Delhi High Court judgement holding that MCD did not have the power to seal the premises operating illegally.

The apex court has repeatedly reprimanded the Centre as well as the MCD for deliberately trying to nullify the orders of this court through various notifications the aim of which, according to the apex court, was to upset the orders of the highest court.

The Union Urban Development Ministry and the MCD have decided to approach the Supreme Court again under the pressure of traders in Delhi. The plan of the government to permit mix land use on 2000 additional roads in Delhi has also been stalled by the Supreme Court's directions not to issue any further notification without the prior permission of the court.

The government may be able to delay the sealing process as Chief Justice Y K Sabharwal is heading a nine judge constitution bench which is going to start hearing from October 30. The petitions seek direction from the court to lay down certain parameters for the government to put the laws in 9th Schedule of the Constitution to avoid judicial scrutiny. The hearing by the nine judges bench shall continue till Friday.


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Hearing on Govt's sealing application on Oct 18
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