The Supreme Court on Friday lifted the ban on construction activities between 6PM and 6 AM in Delhi-NCR.
A bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta stated that the purpose of the ban imposed had been served with reference to the improvement in the air quality, and therefore, construction and demolition could be safely resumed in the capital. In light of the same, the Bench recalled the order passed by it on November 4, 2019.
On November 4, 2019, the Apex Court had passed an order, completely banning construction and demolition in Delhi-NCR on account of the negative effect it rendered on the air quality in and around the national capital.
The 4th November order was subsequently modified and the ban was partially lifted on December 9, 2019 after the Court perused the affidavit submitted by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) which stated that the air quality level (AQI) was not that severe. It suggested permitting construction during the day time, "subject to the criteria stipulated in the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP)". Consequently, construction was allowed between 6 AM to 6 PM.
The partial ban had impacted the real estate sector severely. Therefore, today's order comes as a major relief for the builders as it has completely uplifted the ban on construction, thereby allowing the same to take place between 6 PM to 6 AM.
In another Order, the same Bench declined the request of the Federation of Automobile Dealers' Association of India to extend the 31st March 2020 deadline by a month for clearance of their inventory, and to sell and register BS IV-compliant vehicle stock. They contended that not being able to sell the same would entail the dealers to incur heavy losses.
Justice Mishra, however, refused to listen to the merits of the case and stated that even one extra day would not be provided to the dealers and that they should have been warier before purchasing the non-compliant vehicles. The dealers will now have to plan the liquidation as per the stipulated deadline of 31st March.