It is an order that comes as a great relief to lakhs of traders in the Capital. On Monday, the Supreme Court directed the municipal authorities not to seal any shop along the roads on which commercial or mixed-land use has been allowed under the Master Plan Delhi (MPD) 2021, till April 10. The plan was notified by the Centre last week.
A three-judge bench headed by Justice Arijit Pasayat said the new Master Plan would be tested on the basis of physical infrastructure and amenities — like water, electricity, roads, traffic, parking and sewerage system — provided under it.
The court asked amicus curiae Ranjit Kumar to examine the MPD 2021 and file suggestions within four weeks. It gave a further two weeks to the government to respond to Kumar’s suggestions, and posted the final hearing for April 10, 11 and 12.
The court asked the government to suggest remedial measures to overcome the shortcomings in the plan pointed out by the amicus curiae. It made it clear that no individual petitioner against the plan would be heard separately. All such petitions would be entertained through the amicus curiae alone.
The Delhi Pradesh Citizen Council has challenged the new Master Plan. But when its counsel Jasbir Malik tried to make submissions, the court refused to hear him, and asked him instead to make his submissions through Kumar.
All the traders who own shops along the 2,183 roads protected under the notifications of September 7 and 15, 2006, will benefit, as the notifications now form part of the MPD 2021. This includes the 7,000 traders who reneged on their commitments made to the court in signed affidavits, stating they would close down their shops by June 30, 2006.