In a major relief to thousands of residents, a civil court here on Tuesday asked the Noida authority not to seal ‘petty trading units’ such as barber shops, grocery units, ATMs, railway and air ticket outlets.
The court gave its order while hearing a petition, which accused the authority of illegally widening the net of its sealing drive against commercial establishments such as banks and nursing homes in residential areas.
“There are commercial pockets already set aside and also being identified in residential areas. Such shops can run either from these pockets or purely commercial areas,” the authority had recently said.
The authority had said that these activities were commercial and not professional and, thus, could not be allowed in residential sectors.
SK Mukherjee, counsel of petitioner Ghanshyam Chauhan, said, “When the authority allotted properties, it allowed these petty activities of daily need in residential areas. Sealing of barber shops, grocery units, ATMs, railway and air ticket outlets are violation of laid down provisions.”
The legal department of the authority said it had not seen the order’s copy. “We have always maintained only the clinics of doctors and offices of lawyers and architects (with certain building regulation riders) can be termed professional activities. The city master plan treats all other shops as commercial. They had to be sealed if they did not move out. But we need to go through the order,” said an official.
Various shops have been protesting sealing on the promise that they were professional in nature and were providing public utility services.
The authority carries out its sealing drive on every Wednesday.
In December last year, the Supreme Court ordered banks and nursing homes to shift from residential premises in two months or face sealing.
The court extended the deadline on a few occasions.
On May 4, after five months of hearing, the Supreme Court in its final order said all 100-odd banks in Noida would have to shift to commercial areas by July 10.
The court also asked the Noida Authority to seal all 130 nursing homes functioning in residential areas.
The court said doctors could use a certain percentage of their residential premises for seeing patients. But they cannot treat them.
“The civil court’s order does not interfere with the Supreme Court’s judgment. The apex court never passed any order on these petty shops,” the counsel said.