De-seal all residential premises sealed by monitoring committee: SC

The bench had said the properties sealed as per the report be de-sealed, and possession be restored to the owners forthwith within three days.
real-estate housing
real-estate housing

New Delhi, Aug 25 : The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed that all residential premises in Delhi, sealed by the monitoring committee for constructing unauthorised structures, should be de-sealed immediately.

A bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, B.R. Gavai and Krishna Murari noted the submissions made by senior advocate Ranjit Kumar, who was amicus curiae, and senior advocate Sanjiv Sen on the matter.

Counsel informed the bench that its order has been complied in connection with the premises, where specific unauthorised constructions were allegedly carried out, in the Vasant Kunj and Rajokri area, which were covered under the report number 149.

On August 14, the top court had quashed this report, observing that the committee did not have jurisdiction to seal these premises.

It had said it would not be appropriate to the Committee to usurp statutory powers and act beyond authority conferred upon it by the top court.

“We request the Committee as well as the Corporations to examine other similar cases and to take action as per the order passed by this court on August 14, suo moto and there need not be any necessity of multiplying the applications to this court and only those applications will be entertained by this court which are not covered by the order dated August 14,” said the bench in the order on Tuesday.

The bench also appreciated the work done by Ranjit Kumar for the betterment of the environment and asked the Delhi government to pay Rs 50 lakh to him, but he declined to accept it.

The bench said: “Though we have ordered the payment of Rs 50 lakh to Ranjit Kumar, but he has declined to receive any payment. Hence, the amount not to be paid. We appreciate his gesture which has really moved us.”

In the August 14 order, the top court had said: “The Monitoring Committee could not have sealed the residential premises, which were not misused for the commercial purpose as done vide report No 149, nor it could have directed the demolition of those residential properties.”

The bench had said the properties sealed as per the report be de-sealed, and possession be restored to the owners forthwith within three days.

However, the top court clarified that this order does not at all mean to belittle the yeoman service done by the Monitoring Committee for protection of Delhi. “No doubt about it that matter of encroachment is a matter of concern, but the Monitoring Committee can act within the four corners of powers conferred upon it and purpose for which the court appointed the Monitoring Committee. It cannot exceed its powers and take any action beyond its authorization by the court,” noted the top court.

The Monitoring Committee, comprising K.J. Rao, former advisor to the Election Commission; Bhure Lal, chairman of Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority; and Major Gen S.P. Jhingon (retd), was set up on March 24, 2006, by the top court.

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