Gulf News

Court flays delay in closing illegal shops

TWO TOP OFFICIALS APPEAR BEFORE BENCH

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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.

Municipal elections

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.

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