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"You Require Bulldozers To Remove Stalls & Chairs?": Supreme Court Asks NDMC On Jahangirpuri Demolitions

Srishti Ojha
21 April 2022 9:14 AM GMT
You Require Bulldozers To Remove Stalls & Chairs?: Supreme Court Asks NDMC On Jahangirpuri Demolitions
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"To remove stalls, chairs, bench, boxes, you require a bulldozer?", the Supreme Court on Thursday asked the North Delhi Municipal Corporation in relation to the anti-encroachment drive carried by it in Jahangirpuri, New Delhi.A bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and BR Gavai posed the question after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for NDMC, submitted that as per the provisions...

"To remove stalls, chairs, bench, boxes, you require a bulldozer?", the Supreme Court on Thursday asked the North Delhi Municipal Corporation in relation to the anti-encroachment drive carried by it in Jahangirpuri, New Delhi.

A bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and BR Gavai posed the question after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for NDMC, submitted that as per the provisions of the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, any stall, chair, bench etc., placed in a public street in contravention of the Act can be removed without any prior notice.

The SG was responding to the petitioners' argument that the demolition was carried out without prior notice as mandated by the statute.

Responding to the SG's submissions, Justice Rao asked if the demolition conducted in Jahangirpuri on 20th April was only for removal stalls, chairs, boxes benches etc.

"The demolition yesterday was only of stalls, chairs, tables etc?", Justice Rao asked.

The SG submitted that as per his instructions, whatever that was there on public streets, footpaths, etc., was removed.

"To remove stalls,chairs,bench,boxes, you require a bulldozer?", Justice Gavai asked. SG submitted that while it is correct for the Court to say that bulldozers are needed for demolition of buildings, according to his instructions, prior notices were issued to people.

"Notices were issued for buildings", the SG said.

"If the statute provides for something to be done in a certain way, it has be done in that way. It also provides for appellate remedy, it provides time for 5-15 days", Justice Gavai pointed out.

The SG maintained that for buildings, notices were issued.

At this juncture, Justice Rao asked Senior Advocate Sanjay Hegde, appearing for one Ganesh Gupta, whose juice shop at Jahangirpuri was destroyed, if a prior notice was issued to his client with regard to demolition and if his client had a stall, chair or table on the road.

Mr.Hegde informed the court that no notice was issued. The SG reiterated that notices were issued with regard to demolition of buildings.

The Solicitor General further insisted that the petitioners should place the facts and details of the demolition before the court

"Whether this demolition was done without notice, let the individuals come and say. Let them say notice wasn't issued, I will show the notice", Mr. Mehta said. He pointed out the petition has been filed by an organization and not the affected parties.

The Bench was considering two petitions filed by Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind, one against the demolition drive in Delhi's Jahangirpuri, and the other one against demolition of properties of persons purportedly involved in criminal incidents such as riots in States of MP, UP & Gujarat.

After the hearing, the Court issued notice to the NDMC in the petition filed by the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind and sought its counter-affidavit within 2 weeks.

The Court also extended until further orders the status quo order against the demolition drive launched by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation(NDMC) in the riot-hit Jahangirpuri area.

"We want affidavits from the petitioners on the notices if served and counter affidavits on the details of the demolition and till then status quo order will continue", Justice Rao said.

A Bench led by CJI NV Ramana had ordered status quo on the demolitions yesterday.

Case Title : Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind and another versus Union of India and others

Click Here To Read/Download Order

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