The Supreme Court on Friday sternly told the Centre not to assume powers of judiciary in tackling the problem of unauthorised commercial use of residential areas in the national capital.
"There cannot be any doubt that the legislature would lack competence to extend the time granted by this court in the purported exercise of law making power," a Bench headed by Chief Justice YK Sabharwal said.
Observing that such functions did not vest in the legislature, the Bench also comprising Justices CK Thakker and RV Raveendran said "that would be virtually exercising judicial functions".
The Bench said the dignity and authority of the court has to be protected not for any individual but for maintenance of the rule of law.
It was expressing its disapproval over the manner in which the government attempted to provide relief to the traders by issuing series of notifications and through a hurriedly enacted legislation, Delhi Law (Special) Provisions Act, 2006, providing a year's moratorium from sealing and demolition drive in the capital.
The court expressed hope that Government would consider the interest of the silent residents instead of adopting adhoc measures to tackle the problem of illegal commercial activity in residential areas of the national capital.
"We also hope that without any further loss of time the government and the concerned authorities, instead of adhoc measures like the present, would now undertake proper planning keeping into consideration all relevant factors including the interests of those residents which may not have any voice," the CJI, writing for the Bench, said.