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Temporary respite to over 18000 traders in Delhi

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Nov 23: The Supreme Court, in a major but temporary relief, permitted over 18000 traders in Delhi who had intimated the Monitoring Committee that they have stopped commercial activity, to continue their activities till a final decision on the two notifications of September 7 and 15.

However, a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Y K Sabharwal and Justices C K Thakkar and R V Raveendran was silent over the fate of about 6500 traders who have not filed affidavits. The apex court appointed Monitoring Committee will decide the future course of action in respect of these traders.

The court made it clear that the 18463 traders shall be subjected to all the conditions imposed by its order dated September 29, meaning thereby that they will have to file fresh affidavits by January 31 next year affirming that they would stop the misuse forthwith if the two notifications are invalidated by the apex court.

The two impugned notifications of September 7 and 15 had permitted mixed land use along 2183 roads in the national capital. The court allowed big showrooms such as furnishing outlets, jewellery shops, brand outlets to continue if they provide for public facilities such as parking space, even if they are covered by the two notifications.

The apex court, however, made it clear that commercial establishments operating from encroached public land would be sealed forthwith.

The court said the concerned Deputy Commissioner and SHO will be held personally responsible for any fresh commercial activity reported from a premises approved only for residential purposes.

It also permitted recognised schools to continue till the end of current academic session in the interest of students.

The court, however, made it clear that the schools operating from encroached public land shall be sealed forthwith.

The bench also directed the MCD to issue a public notice stating therein that no fresh commercial activity in buildings sanctioned for residential purposes is allowed. The Deputy Commissioner of the concerned MCD zone and the SHO should inform the concerned officer and if despite that it continues then it will be personal responsibility of the two officials.

The public notice should be issued in consultation with the Monitoring Committee, it added.

Simple booking of buildings for violation of laws only on paper has proved to be totally ineffective, the court noted.

''The current state of affairs is the result of total lack of planning and implementation of laws,'' the apex court asserted, directing the Centre, Delhi Government and MCD to file a detailed affidavit within six weeks stating therein steps being taken for future planning, including steps for safeguarding the public interest.

The planning should also include proper parking space and its effect on amenities like water and electricity and environment.

The court also noted that the two notifications suffered from ''total mindlessness'' on the part of the authorities. it also made it clear that 34 premises who had given false affidavits to the Monitoring Committee that they have stopped the misuse but were found open would be sealed forthwith.

The court also directed that the premises which have already been sealed but are covered by the two notifications may be desealed by the Committee.

Earlier, Solicitor General G E Vahanvati assured that the government would certainly take care of the concerns expressed by the court regarding lack of planning in the city which has led to the present chaos.

The court, however, refused to grant any relief to computer institutes operating from residential areas.


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