29 Nov 2023 4:15 AM GMT
The Delhi High Court has observed that a mechanism needs to be evolved, if not already in place, to ensure that the action taken by Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) on the complaints received about unauthorised constructions in the national capital is “systematic, transparent and even-handed.”Justice Prateek Jalan said that several cases are filed in the court every week alleging that...
The Delhi High Court has observed that a mechanism needs to be evolved, if not already in place, to ensure that the action taken by Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) on the complaints received about unauthorised constructions in the national capital is “systematic, transparent and even-handed.”
Justice Prateek Jalan said that several cases are filed in the court every week alleging that the MCD has taken no action despite several complaints having been submitted regarding unauthorised construction.
“I am of the view that a mechanism is required to be evolved, if not already in place, to ensure that the action is systematic, transparent and even-handed,” the court said.
Justice Jalan directed the civic body to file an affidavit stating as to what is the manner in which complaints can be made regarding unauthorised construction, and whether any record is maintained of complaints that are made by telephone or personally.
The court also asked the MCD to stated how are decisions made by it regarding priority for taking action in respect of the complaints, including the level at which such prioritisation occurs and the factors which inform the decision.
It also asked the civic body to state how is the identity of the proposed noticee determined regarding issuance of notices for sealing and demolition etc.
“What are the modes of service utilised to ensure service of show cause notices? Is any evidence maintained of efforts to serve notices upon the owners/occupiers personally, if such service was unsuccessful?,” the court asked MCD.
Justice Jalan was dealing with a plea moved by a wife and two minor children challenging MCD’s action of sealing two rooms of their house pursuant to an order passed by civic body’s Deputy Commissioner of the South Zone. The said order was predicated on unauthorised construction on the property.
The court said that no explanation was given by the MCD in its affidavit as to why action was taken only in respect of the basement and second floor of the property, despite a finding of unauthorised construction in the ground floor, mezzanine floor and the first floor.
“MCD is directed to file a further affidavit within two weeks in this regard,” the court said.
It added that the case also raise questions with regard to the manner in which complaints with regard to unauthorised construction are dealt with by MCD.
“In order to assist the Court in this matter, Deputy Commissioner, South Zone, MCD, who passed the sealing order in the present case, is requested to remain present in Court on the next date of hearing,” the court said while listing the matter for hearing next on December 15.
Counsel for Petitioners: Ms. Manali Singhal, Ms. Shreya Singhal, Mr. Santosh Sachin & Ms. Aanchal Kapoor, Advocates
Counsel for Respondents: Ms. Shubhra Parashar, Mr. Deepesh Chaudhary, Mr. Virender Pratap Singh, Mr. Yash Hari Dixit & Mr. Akshay Kumar, Advocates for R-1/UOI; Mr. Akhil Ranganathan, Proxy Counsel Ms. Ishita Agarwal, Advocate for R-4; Mr. Samar Bansal, Mr. Vedant Kapur, Mr. Kaustubh Chaturvedi & Mr. Madhav Gupta, Advocates for R-5 & 6
Title: BABY ADIRA JATIA & ORS. v. UNION OF INDIA & ORS.
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Del) 1182
Click Here To Read Order