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SC decision on Delhi sealings today

SC will hear pleas by Centre, Delhi, MCD and traders on sealings, report Satya Prakash and Vibha Sharma.

india Updated: Nov 06, 2006 12:48 IST

The Supreme Court on Monday will decide the fate of 48,000-odd traders who had filed affidavits that they would cease commercial activities in residential areas of the Capital by October 31.

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India YK Sabharwal will take up the pleas of the Centre, the Delhi government, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and traders associations who are seeking relief for traders, who had filed affidavits but are now covered under the amended Master Plan 2001 (September 7 and 15 notifications) allowing commercialisation/mixed land use on 2,183 stretches.

The applicants have requested the court to allow this category of traders to continue running their shops till January 31, 2007 after they file an additional affidavit like those covered under the two notifications.

The matters to be considered are:
MCD’s plea: The MCD has filed two applications and an additional affidavit on the issue. In its first application, the Corporation had prayed to the court to modify its September 29 order in context of the 48,000-odd traders.

The MCD had also filed another application seeking to defer the sealing drive in view of the serious law and order situation arising the violent agitation by traders during the three-day bandh by the traders.

On Saturday, the MCD again approached the court stating that sealing drive cannot begin without adequate police cover and sought postponement of the drive to a later date. The Corporation said that the majority of the police force would be occupied in making security arrangements for the festivals scheduled to take place this month—while Guru Parab would be celebrated on November 5 and 6, the Sant Nirankari Sammelan would be held between November 11 and 13.

UD ministry's application: The Centre has also filed an application seeking relief for the 48,000-odd traders who had filed affidavits giving an undertaking to close their shops, but also fall under the amended Master Plan 2001.

Delhi Government's plea: It is for the first time that the Delhi Government has intervened in the matter and has filed an application seeking relief from the sealing drive till January 31, 2007 for all categories of traders, who have filed affidavits.

Monitoring Committee's report: The court will also peruse the two reports submitted by the Monitoring Committee. In the first report, the Monitoring Committee had acknowledged the tense law and order situation in the city and had also suggested that the 48,000 traders, who had earlier filed affidavits, should be treated on par with other traders covered under the amended Master Plan 2001, who are being allowed to continue trade till January 31, 2007. The Committee members are, however, unhappy at the report being leaked to the media and have sought an inquiry into the matter.

In the second report that was placed before the Registry in a sealed cover it is learnt that the committee members have taken a stern view of the repeated failure of the MCD to resume the sealing drive.

Traders' prayer: Some trader groups have also moved applications seeking relief from the sealing drive.

Emails satya.prakash@hindustantimes.com,  vibha@hindustantimes.com