A Delhi court has taken a serious view of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi allowing tent houses to have “monopolistic control” over its parks during the wedding season and asked it to pay Rs 2.5 lakh compensation to a man who could not organise his daughter’s wedding ceremony.
The court directed the MCD chief to order an inquiry into the alleged lapses on part of officials due to which L.D. Bansal’s plans for his daughter’s marriage celebrations suffered a setback.
The civic agency’s park booked by him was illegally occupied by a tent house on the wedding day.
“Instances of tent houses having monopolistic control over earmarked areas are not rare. The consumer is left with no choice but to book a particular business group to do their work or else to face harassment, as was in the present case where the booked lawn was not made available to the plaintiff (bride’s father),” Additional District Judge Kamini Lau said.
Taking cognizance of alleged connivance between officials of the civic body and private tent houses, the court said, “The MCD Commissioner may also institute criminal prosecution against the erring officers and others on account of breach of trust and also for creating forged documents which they used before this court.”
The court also termed the matter as “fit case” for requiring detailed vigilance inquiry for the alleged connivance between MCD (horticulture) department officials and tent houses particularly Grover Tents and Decorators and Sharma Tent House.
Bansal, a Karol Bagh resident, alleged in court that he had to organise his daughter’s wedding on a street in 2004 as Ajmal Khan Park, booked by him with an advance payment of Rs 11,210, was occupied by a tent house.
“Not only did the plaintiff (Bansal) suffer financial loss in terms of the amount deposited by him at the time of booking the lawns but also the loss in terms of inconvenience caused and social disrespect and humiliation,” the court said, awarding Bansal a compensation of Rs 2.5 lakh.
The MCD, in its defence, had denied all the allegations saying that the marriage ceremony was organised at the same venue and the case was lodged to extract money from its officials.
“A bride’s father is expected to be attending various ceremonies connected with the marriage and to his guests a few hours before the wedding rather than pleading with senior officers of the MCD and seeking their intervention to get the site handed over to him. Had the wedding been performed at the site, there was no occasion for the father to have rushed to the court to seek damages,” the court said.
It came down heavily on the civic body for claiming in its written submission that the wedding was held at an alternative venue, as it was convenient.