In a landmark judgment, the Punjab and Haryana High Court directed the Haryana Government to restore green areas in DLF City that were allowed to be used for commerce, such as residential plots, schools and hotels till 2008. However, this order came with a rider. The court also directed the government to freeze the sanctioned layout plan of DLF City (Phase I-IV) and disallow further changes in community sites.
However, the DLF Qutub Enclave Residents Welfare Association (QERWA) who moved the court in 2001, urging it to remove the unauthorised structures that came up on the park sites, expressed its dissatisfaction with the judgment. The association claimed the judgment was silent on damages already caused by large-scale changes of green areas and other community sites sold as plots for commercial ventures.
In a joint civil writ petition filed by QERWA and DLF City, residents had pleaded though the developer had obtained licence under the provisions of the Haryana Development and Regulation of Urban Areas Act, 1975, the coloniser company violated the terms of the license.
As per the licensing conditions, a minimum area of 100 acres is required for establishing a plotted area colony and at least 45 per cent of the licensed area must be reserved for common facilities.
A double bench of Punjab and Haryana High Court comprising of chief justice T.S. Thakur and justice Jasbir Singh, in its judgment delivered on January 30, stated, “In cases where the site was originally reserved to be a green area but was converted to another use by revision of the plan, the Director (Town & Country Planning) would consider the feasibility of restoring the area as a green area subject to the condition that no third party interest in respect of that area has been created by the developer."
Meanwhile, R.S. Rathee, president QERWA said, "The judgment is soft and directs the state government to 'consider the feasibility' of restoring green areas subject to the condition that no third party interest in respect of that area were created. It means that nothing could be done if the sites have been sold by the developers." Rathee added the association would either file a revision petition in the high court or move the supreme court for relief.