On applications moved by commercial establishments, including hotels

In a temporary relief to scores of commercial and residential establishments, the Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the authorities to put off till December 5 the sealing of unauthorised constructions in the Capital.

A special Bench of Justices G. S. Singhvi and Swatanter Kumar passed the direction on applications moved by various commercial establishments, including some prominent hotels from the NDMC area, seeking a stay of the proposed sealing drive from coming Thursday.

The authorities had decided to commence the sealing operations on the directive of the Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee which wanted the drive to commence “not later than December 1.”

“You defer the implementation of the order. We will hear the matter and pass necessary orders,” the Bench told MCD counsel Sanjib Sen during the hearing.

The Bench then adjourned the matter till December 5.

The apex court had in 2006 ordered sealing of several unauthorised structures in the National Capital and is now examining the DDA's 2021 Master Plan for Delhi after petitions were filed by NGOs, individuals and civil society members challenging the validity of the master plan.

At an earlier hearing, the Supreme Court had castigated the Delhi Development Authority for failing to check large-scale encroachments of public land and said it was emerging as “Delhi Destruction Authority.”

“What are you doing? You are only collecting user charges from unauthorised occupants. It is simply mind-boggling....DDA has become a Delhi Destruction Authority,” it had said.

The Bench had made the remarks while dealing with a spate of applications filed by commercial organisations seeking de-sealing of their premises.

DDA had drawn the court's ire after a commercial tenant in Nehru Nagar sought de-sealing of his 160 sq yard premises which was sealed in 2006 as part of the apex court's earlier orders.

More In: Delhi