New Delhi, Aug 14 : The Supreme Court on Friday said that it would not be appropriate for the monitoring committee to usurp statutory powers and act beyond the authority conferred upon it by the top court.
A bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, B.R. Gavai and Krishna Murari said, “We quash Report No. 149 and other reports submitted subsequently in connection with Report No. 149 and the entire action of sealing pursuant thereto.”
On April 2, 2019, Report No. 149 was submitted by the Monitoring Committee concerning specific unauthorised constructions allegedly carried out in the Vasant Kunj and Rajokari area.
These constructions were not on public land. The respective persons owned the land, and the committee had submitted that a letter was received from the SDM, Mehrauli, on February 22, 2019 regarding unauthorised construction in Vasant Kunj, Delhi.
“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,” said the top court.
The bench said the property sealed as per report No.149 be deA-sealed, and possession be restored to the owners forthwith.A “Let this order be complied with within three days”, said the top court.
However, the top court clarified that this order does not at all mean to belittle the yeomen 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 bench observed that in the teeth of various statutes, the monitoring committee would act strictly within the four corners of the powers conferred on it by the apex court.
“When we consider the various orders passed by this Court from time to time, before the constitution of the Monitoring Committee, we find that this Court at no point in time has empowered the Monitoring Committee to take action with respect to residential premises not used for commercial purposea,” observed the top court.
The monitoring committee comprises K.J. Rao, former advisor to the Election Commissioner; Bhure Lal, chairman of Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority; and Major General (Retd) S.P. Jhingon. The committee was set up on March 24, 2006, by the top court.