The Delhi High Court, in a significant decision on Monday, decided to stop monitoring the demolition of illegal constructions in the city.
The court has been ensuring the demolition of several unauthorised constructions in the city by goading a lethargic MCD into action for the past six years. Tough directions, pulling up of its top officials — including the commissioner — and threats of contempt of action, have marked the hearings so far.
A bench headed by justice Pradeep Nandrajog decided to end the hearings, which began in 2005 after NGO Kalyan Sanstha Sangathan filed a public interest litigation (PIL) against rampant unauthorised constructions.
The court cited the complicated nature of hearings, given the large number of applications, as the reason behind the decision. The court, however, made it clear that aggrieved persons could still approach it and their plea would be heard as a civil suit rather than a PIL.
“The court decision will result in more efficient action against demolition, speedier justice to the aggrieved and will bring clarity to hearings,” said Ajay Arora, standing counsel, MCD.
“Till now it was being heard as a PIL. Any person could come to the court and point out a large number of unauthorised constructions in his area. Many times the genuinely aggrieved person was not heard,” he added.