In a relief to 36 malls and complexes, the Delhi high court on Monday quashed the hefty penalties imposed on them by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) for allegedly contaminating air and water. Many of these complexes were also facing the threat of closure.
A bench headed by Justice Pradeep Nandrajog said DPCC had no power to levy fines under Air or Water Act and said that the maximum it could do was to conduct inspection and issue notices if deficiencies were found. “If any deficiencies are found and the owner does not take corrective action, criminal cases may be filed in courts and only the courts are authorised to impose fine,” the court said.
The commercial establishments included DLF Saket, Vasant Kunj Mall, TDI and Paragon malls at Raja Garden, Galleria Shopping Mall at Mayur Vihar, DT City Centre at Shalimar Bagh among others.
DPCC had claimed that the developers had not sought its clearance and were not running their business as per norms. But the commercial units said their establishments did not come under the Acts and so DPCC’s permission was not required.