Court flays delay in closing illegal shops
TWO TOP OFFICIALS APPEAR BEFORE BENCH
Expressing its anguish over vacillation by police and municipal authorities in sealing illegal shops in the capital, the Supreme Court yesterday sought strict compliance of its order and admonished the chiefs of two departments for making contradictory claims over deployment of security personnel for sealing.
After going through the affidavits of Delhi Police Commissioner K.K. Paul and municipal body chief A.K Nigam, who appeared in the court in response to summons, a bench headed by justice Arijit Pasayat said: “We have perused the two affidavits. To say the least, they are confusing and conflicting in some aspects, besides being irreconcilable.
“We are anguished and at pains to know that our orders are not being implemented in letter and spirit. We hope that in future the Delhi Police and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) will implement the orders without giving any room for grievance from any quarter,” said the bench, which also had judges C.K Thakkar and L.S. Panta.
The bench directed the MCD and police chief to coordinate properly in enforcing the closure of illegal commercial properties operating out of residential premises, unprotected by Delhi Master Plan 2021.
The bench had sought the personal appearance of Paul and Nigam to clarify why sealing operations could not be undertaken on April 3, 4 and 9.
Paul, in his affidavit, had told the court he was unable to provide security personnel to assist the sealing operations on April 3 and 4, as he had to deploy several of them for the security of foreign dignitaries visiting New Delhi for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) summit.
The police chief also cited the April 5 municipal elections as yet another reason for his failure to spare police force on the two days for carrying out the sealing. He, however, asserted that the MCD had been provided with police personnel on April 9 when six commercial establishments, including two properties in north district and four schools in east district, were sealed.
MCD Commissioner Nigam, however, contradicted Paul’s claim saying no police was provided on all the three dates.
Nigam, in his affidavit said the six properties, which the police commissioner says were sealed on April 9, had been sealed under the Delhi High Court order and not as per the order of the apex court.