4 Dec 2023 6:22 AM GMT
The Delhi High Court has observed that the declaration of rural areas as urban areas is done in furtherance of the pre-eminent purpose of planned development of the national capital.A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Mini Pushkarna dismissed a public interest litigation challenging the constitutional validity of a notification issued on May 16, 2017 by...
The Delhi High Court has observed that the declaration of rural areas as urban areas is done in furtherance of the pre-eminent purpose of planned development of the national capital.
A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Mini Pushkarna dismissed a public interest litigation challenging the constitutional validity of a notification issued on May 16, 2017 by Delhi Government's Department of Urban Development, declaring that certain villages which were part of rural areas shall be deemed as urban areas.
The plea moved by NGO-Campaign for People Participation in Development Planning challenged the notification on the ground that it could not have been notified by the Lieutenant Governor, as the power and authority to do so lay with the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) in terms of Section 507 of Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, 1957.
Rejecting the plea, the bench said that the notification was published in accordance with law. It noted that with the ever growing population of Delhi and limited land resources, rural areas were included in the urban areas in terms of Notification to meet the requirement of housing and other physical, social and institutional infrastructure in the city in a planned manner.
“The actual act of taking a decision for urbanization of the villages in question was undertaken by the Corporation of the MCD in terms of its authority vested under Section 507 of the DMC Act, 1957, as is manifest from the documents and pleadings placed on record,” the court said.
Further, it added that the approval to the said decision of MCD was duly granted by the Lieutenant Governor, after which the same was published by way of Gazette notification.
“Therefore, when undoubtedly the decision has been taken by the Corporation in exercise of its authority in terms of Section 507 of the DMC Act, 1957, the publication of the notification in the name of Lieutenant Governor does not make the notification bad in law, since the Lieutenant Governor is the Administrator of the MCD”.
The bench also observed that merely because the notification was published in the name of the Lieutenant Governor, did not, in any manner, undermine or erode the authority of MCD under Section 507 of the Act.
“Plain reading of Section 507 of the DMC Act, 1957 makes it clear that the power to declare any rural areas to be forming part of urban areas, vests in the Municipal Corporation. Therefore, the decision to declare any area as forming part of urban area is conferred on the Corporation. Indubitably, in the present case, the decision to declare the rural areas as part of the urban areas has been taken by the Corporation ...The authority of the Corporation under Section 507 of the DMC Act, 1957 cannot be interpreted in a manner to reduce the same to the ministerial act of publication in the name of the Corporation in the Gazette Notification,” it held.
Counsel for Petitioner: Advocate Anil K. Aggarwal
Counsels for Respondents: CGSC Ripu Daman Bhardwaj with Advocate Kushagra Kumar for UoI; Advocate Nitin Mishra for DDA; Standing Counsel Puja Kalra for MCD with Advocates Virendra Singh, Sharmila Ola; ASC Satyakam with Advocate Ganesh Kumar Bhatt
Case Title: CAMPAIGN FOR PEOPLE PARTICIPATION IN DEVELOPMENT PLANNING v. UNION OF INDIA & ANR
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Del) 1214
Click Here To Read/Download Judgment