The Centre has kept its options open on providing relief to the traders from the sealing drive. Approaching the Supreme Court “very soon” is one of them.
Sources said the government was likely to urge the court to spare establishments on roads covered by the 7 September notification. An MCD survey has indicated that nearly 5,200 shops would need to be sealed if the court accepts the government plea.
After a meeting of the Group of Ministers chaired by Union home minister Shivraj Patil to assess the sealing drive, Union urban development minister S Jaipal Reddy, however, emphasised that the GoM had not taken a final view. The GoM will meet again early next week.
The feeling is that if the government approached the court again, it could be expected to take a sympathetic view in view of the peaceful resumption of the sealing drive.
Meanwhile, the BJP has suggested an amendment in the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act to take away its power to seal a premise for “misuse”, as a way out of the present impasse.
Briefing mediapersons, former union Minister Arun Jaitley said Parliament amended the MCD Act 1957 and the Delhi Development Authority Act 1957 in 1985-86 to provide the power to seal unauthorised constructions. However, in its February 16 order, the SC opined that MCD could also seal premises for commercial misuse. “This could now be rectified by taking away this power temporarily, till town planners decided the number/areas of commercial and retail spaces needed in a city as big as Delhi and work out a suitable master plan.”