Il­le­gal reg­is­tra­tion of prop­er­ties is way of life here: Delhi HC

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - METRO - Press Trust of In­dia htre­porters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

NEW DELHI: Il­le­gal reg­is­tra­tion of com­mer­cial prop­er­ties as res­i­den­tial was a “way of life” in the na­tional cap­i­tal, the Delhi High Court has ob­served while hear­ing a PIL al­leg­ing ram­pant cor­rup­tion in the of­fices where prop­er­ties are reg­is­tered.

“Is it not a way of life here,” a bench of act­ing chief jus­tice Gita Mit­tal and jus­tice C Hari Shankar asked when the is­sue of il­le­gal reg­is­tra­tion of com­mer­cial prop­er­ties as res­i­den­tial ones was raised be­fore it in the plea, which also sought a CBI or SIT probe into the mat­ter.

The court is­sued no­tice to the Delhi gov­ern­ment, its rev­enue, ser­vice and vig­i­lance de­part­ments, the Anti Cor­rup­tion Branch, the CBI and the Con­troller of Ac­counts seek­ing their stand on the al­le­ga­tions made in the pe­ti­tion by a lawyer.

The pe­ti­tioner has re­ferred to a spe­cific sub-reg­is­trar of­fice at Asaf Ali Road in Old Delhi and al­leged that the of­fi­cial there was ac­cept­ing bribes to reg­is­ter com­mer­cial prop­er­ties as res­i­den­tial ones, lead­ing to a “huge loss of rev­enue” to the state ex­che­quer.

Pe­ti­tioner RP Gupta has also al­leged that such prac­tices are prob­a­bly preva­lent in all the sub­reg­is­trar of­fices in Delhi.

He has claimed that de­spite sev­eral rep­re­sen­ta­tions and com­plaints made against the al­leged il­le­gal ac­tiv­ity in this, no ac­tion has been taken.

The bench di­rected the of­fice of the Lt Gover­nor to file a sep­a­rate sta­tus re­port on reg­is­tra­tion of trans­ac­tions in re­la­tion to trans­fer of im­mov­able prop­er­ties tak­ing place in the ju­ris­dic­tion of the sub-reg­is­trar of­fice. It listed the mat­ter for fur­ther hear­ing on March 7.

COURT SEEKS UGC, DU RE­SPONSE IN CON­TEMPT PLEA

In a sep­a­rate case, the high court also sought re­sponses from the Univer­sity Grant Com­mis­sion and Delhi Univer­sity on a plea seek­ing con­tempt ac­tion against them for al­legedly not com­ply­ing with its de­ci­sion to ap­point an ‘om­buds­man’ in all var­si­ties for re­dres­sal of stu­dents’ griev­ances.

Jus­tice V Kameswar Rao is­sued no­tices to the UGC and DU seek­ing their replies on the plea and listed the mat­ter for hear­ing on May 14.

The high court had in 2017 di­rected the UGC to set up a sys­tem to re­dress the griev­ances of stu­dents in all var­si­ties, in­clud­ing DU, within four months.

It had di­rected the DU to “take nec­es­sary steps forth­with and ap­point the om­buds­man” ex­pe­di­tiously in terms of pro­vi­sions of the UGC (Griev­ance Re­dres­sal) Reg­u­la­tions of 2012.

The con­tempt pe­ti­tion filed by Bra­jesh Singh, an ad­vo­cate, al­leged de­lib­er­ate and will­ful non-com­pli­ance of the court’s Fe­bru­ary 3, 2017 or­der, which had said that the fail­ure of uni­ver­si­ties to ap­point an om­buds­man or con­sti­tute a Griev­ance Re­dres­sal Com­mit­tees (GRC) for col­leges would de­feat the very ob­ject of the griev­ance re­dres­sal mech­a­nism pro­vided un­der the reg­u­la­tions.

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