Delhi BJP MLA Harcharan Singh Balli, who is facing contempt charges for allegedly breaking seals of certain shops sealed by the MCD in West Delhi on the orders of the Supreme Court, on Tuesday accused the Judiciary of assuming the powers of the Executive.
In an affidavit filed in the court, Balli, however, admitted that the apex court's orders were violated and submitted himself to the punishment that may be imposed on him "to uphold the majesty of law and sanctity of the orders of the apex court."
He alleged that the Judiciary was usurping the powers of the Executive. "I believe that the separation of powers between the Executive and the Judiciary has been obliterated in the recent years and the Judiciary has assumed to itself the powers and decisions that legitimately vest in the Executive ie the elected Government of the people," Balli said.
"This has resulted into a disconnect between the understanding of a situation as right and just in the perception of public and in the pronouncements of the Courts in some cases," he submitted.
Interestingly, while giving a temporary relief from sealing to the traders running commercial establishments in residential areas of the capital, a Bench headed by Chief Justice YK Sabharwal had on September 29 sternly told the Government not to assume the powers of the Judiciary while tackling the issue.
It had also restrained the Government from issuing any further notifications allowing commercial use of residential properties without its prior permission.
Balli said that Parliament, Delhi Assembly, Centre, DDA and MCD—all worked to save the commercial establishments in residential areas and several seals were opened after the passing of the Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Act, 2006 and added, "I worked for no different purpose and deserve no different treatment."
Affirming his "greatest regard" for the Supreme Court, the BJP MLA said his opposition to sealing of properties was in the exercise of his right to freedom of speech and expression and in discharge of his public duties, as an elected representative of the people of Delhi. He, however, said it should not be interpreted as violation of the court's orders.
"Whatever I have done, I have done as a public representative. It was my duty as what was being done (sealing of commercial establishment operating in residential areas) was not correct," he had earlier told the court.
The court had issued contempt notice to Balli on May 11 last asking him to explain why action should not be taken against him for violating its orders. A second notice was issued to him in August after the MCD told the court that a mob led by him tampered with seals of four properties in West Delhi.
Balli, who was present during the proceedings, urged the court to take up the matter for hearing. However, the Bench posted the matter for hearing in later November on the ground that two of the 22 contemnors had not been served with notices and that all the sealing-related contempt matters would be heard together.
Balli said he had not been supplied the copies of two video clippings showing his breaking the seals despite court orders.
The Bench also asked MCD counsel Sanjiv Sen to place on record the report of an inquiry conducted against a Superintending Engineer who had been awarded major penalty of reduction of three increments in his present pay scale. One Assistant Engineer had already been dismissed from service for corruption in sealing drive, Sen informed the court.