Khan Market gets HC breather on Holi
The Delhi high court on Thursday provided relief to a large number of traders of Khan Market by staying the sealing operation planned by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) immediately after Holi. Harish V Nair reports.delhi Updated: Mar 17, 2011 23:52 IST
The Delhi high court on Thursday provided relief to a large number of traders of Khan Market by staying the sealing operation planned by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) immediately after Holi.
"Till further orders, no demolition work shall be carried out by the NDMC," ruled justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Khan Market Welfare Association contending that the action against them was illegal, as they had already deposited the conversion charges and their shops were legal according to Delhi's Masterplan 2021.
Their lawyer Arvind Nayar said NDMC's sealing notices to remove the additional floors and illegal encroachments were not only "vague", but also that the traders were not given time to reply.
The association argued that there had to be a public hearing before any such exercise, and the civic agency had denied them that.
"The NDMC is yet to inform the traders about its plan. The old residential plan of 1983 cannot be applied when the additional floors have been approved by the Masterplan 2021," said Nayar. The association argues that the action contemplated was against "principles of natural justice".
Justice Endlaw issued notice to the NDMC and sought a detailed action plan on the sealing and its justification by April 27. The order meant that the Khan Market traders, who operate from the first and second floors of the elite shopping hub in central Delhi and faced sealing, got a relief of more than a month.
Around 150 residential premises were turned into commercial complexes, out of which 74, on the first floor, were turned into commercial establishments on payment of conversion charges.
Supreme Court-appointed committee, which ordered the sealing, said the traders could only operate from the first floor and barsaati. NDMC, however, said most of the first-floor shops, which received notices, were those where illegal alterations and extensions were found.