Centre, Delhi govt face SC ire over illegal constructions

Court rejects Centre’s request to monitor issue in city

The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused the Centre’s request to monitor the problem of unauthorised construction mushrooming in the Capital, saying “we are not policemen”. A Bench of Justices Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta rapped the government for its inability to check illegal buildings.

“People of Delhi are suffering. Children are suffering. Our lungs are already damaged. Lungs of our children will also be damaged,” Justice Lokur told Additional Solicitor General A.N.S. Nadkarni, who appeared on behalf of the Centre.

The court pointed out that illegal constructions have swallowed up green spaces, exposed the populace to high levels of pollution and reduced space for parking vehicles. It also noted that the Centre, the Delhi government, and the civic bodies of the city have been unable to quell the problem all these years.

Replying to the court’s observation of continuous default on the part of the authorities since 2006 to control the onslaught of illegal buildings, Mr. Nadkarni asked the court whether it could intervene so that authorities perform their duties in a time-bound manner.

“You are doing nothing that is why we have to monitor several things,” Justice Lokur responded, adding that whenever the court acts in public interest, it is branded as judicial activism.

The Bench also questioned the government about the protests by traders against the ongoing sealing drive, and came down heavily on the Centre for trying to change the Master Plan of Delhi-2021 at “the drop of a hat” to protect those who have committed illegalities by building unauthorised constructions.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 3:35:32 PM |

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