SC: Is this how you serve people?
The committee, comprising Election Commission adviser K J Rao, Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) chairman Bhure Lal and Maj Gen Som Jhingan, was constituted by the SC in March 2006. At the suggestion of the attorney general, the court had last year directed the Centre to appoint a 13-member special task force (STF) headed by the DDA vice-chairman and comprising representatives of civic bodies to remove encroachments and take effective steps to reclaim the land.
The STF was given wide powers to direct local bodies and police to provide appropriate infrastructure facilities to the residents of Delhi and curb illegal construction in the city.
The appointment of the STF has seen the two committees being at loggerheads and making allegations against each other and the Centre finally sought winding up of the SC-appointed panel. Opposing
The court had last year directed the Centre to appoint a 13-member special task force headed by the DDA vicechairman to remove squatting
the Centre’s plea, senior advocate Ranjit Kumar and lawyer ADN Rao, who are assisting the court as amicus curiae, said the government is trying to hand over the task to the same authorities that failed to carry out their statutory and constitutional duty and which compelled the court to step in.
The monitoring committee in its report also pleaded the court to review continuation of the STF, which it says is adversely affecting the sealing operations done by it. “All the actions of the STF depict that the STF has completely failed to deliver what was expected of it as there are heavy encroachments on pedestrian pathways, roads in addition to largescale illegal constructions going on unabated,” it said in its report.
Noting the two authorities were quarrelling, the court said there was something wrong with Delhi and pointed out even the Centre and Delhi government are fighting on administration of the capital.
The bench, which has recently resolved two disputes between the Centre and Delhi government on the construction of Phase IV of Delhi Metro and the DelhiMeerut Regional Rapid Transit System, was at pains to highlight that no one bothered about citizen issues and slammed the Centre for questioning the credentials of members of the monitoring committee instead of making efforts to patch up differences between the two panels.
“Is this the way to serve the people and to make Delhi a better place to live? Centre, NCT government and other authorities, including these committees, are fighting with each other and no one is thinking about Delhi. It is shocking,” the bench said.