Traders until now being asked to pay a steep penalty in return for opening their shops sealed under a government drive have a reason to smile. The Supreme Court has asked the Municipal Corporation of Delhi to deseal these shops without charging any penalty, an order that will benefit nearly 10,000 shops.
A committee set up by the court to oversee the sealing and demolition drives had earlier ordered that traders whose shops were sealed for carrying out commercial activities on ‘non-notified’ areas will have to pay a hefty penalty for getting their properties desealed. The MCD opposed the move and requested the court that such properties be de-sealed in return for no penalty.
“We had stated in the court that as the traders were giving us an undertaking that they will not be misusing their premises, hence no penalty should be imposed on them and the court has agreed to that. These traders had neither paid conversion charges nor got their shops registered, hence the question of paying a hefty penalty does not arise,” said Vijendra Gupta, Chairman, MCD Standing Committee.
But traders would be required to submit an undertaking they won’t misuse the residential properties. “We are extremely happy with the court’s order. Thousands of traders are going to benefit from this. Most traders had submitted an undertaking that they would not be misusing the property in future. However, the committee was bent on charging a penalty,” said Narendra Madan, general secretary, Confederation of All India Traders.
Recently the civic body had provided temporary relief to such traders by granting permission to get their properties de-sealed for four days so they could remove all goods.