Apex court summons top DDA, SDMC officials

July 12, 2018 12:00 am | Updated 03:47 am IST - New Delhi

To explain why no action was taken against unauthorised construction in the city

The DDA Vice-Chairman and the SDMC Deputy Commissioner have been asked to appear before the apex court on July 18.

The DDA Vice-Chairman and the SDMC Deputy Commissioner have been asked to appear before the apex court on July 18.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed top officials of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) to appear before it next week and explain why they were not taking action against unauthorised construction in the city.

A Bench of Justices Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta passed the order directing the DDA Vice-Chairman and the SDMC Deputy Commissioner to appear before it on July 18.

The direction was issued on the basis of a report filed by the court-mandated monitoring committee, which has claimed that the authorities were not taking action against illegal constructions on grounds that amendments to the Master Plan of Delhi-2021 were not finalised yet.

Referring to another report filed by the committee, the Bench said the panel has also said that the police were not being made available to them to carry out the sealing drive. The court said a report by the committee said that unauthorised constructions were going on in the city, that too on the fourth floor, at several places.

“The Land and Development Office [L&DO], which come under the Union of India, says that complete survey of SDMC area is required to be conducted after the monitoring committee gave a list of unauthorised constructions in the area,” the Bench observed.

Additional Solicitor General A.N.S. Nadkarni, appearing for the Centre, said he will go through the reports of the monitoring committee. The court, however, said one of the committee’s reports had stated that the authorities had shown “unwillingness” to act against unauthorised constructions on grounds that the Centre has instructed them not to proceed till amendments to the Master Plan are finalised.

“We need to file a reply to this. No such instructions were given,” Mr. Nadkarni told the court.

The Bench also observed that one of the reports indicated that roof-top pubs and dance floors were operating in SDMC area. The monitoring committee, comprising K. J. Rao, the former adviser to the Election Commission; Bhure Lal, the chairman of the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority; and Major General (Retd) Som Jhingan, was set up on March 24, 2006, by the top court.

The court had on May 24 rejected the Centre’s plea seeking modification of its order, in which the DDA was asked to invite suggestions from the public on amending the Master Plan of Delhi-2021. A special task force (STF) was also constituted on April 25 following an apex court order and it was set up to oversee enforcement of laws on unauthorised constructions in Delhi.

The top court is dealing with the issue relating to validity of the Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Act, 2006, and subsequent legislations, which protect unauthorised construction from being sealed.

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