The Supreme Court Bench that ordered the demolition of the Shanti Sports Club was in no mood to mince words. Lashing out against illegal and unauthorized constructions, the Bench said these had acquired “monstrous proportions” as municipal and other regulatory bodies turn a blind eye to due to “extraneous reasons”.
The bench of Justice BN Agrawal and Justice GS Singhvi squarely put the blame on politicians and bureaucrats for protecting the violators of law.
When courts ordered demolition of illegal constructions, “those in power have come forward to protect the wrong doers either by issuing administrative orders or (by) enacting laws for regularisation of illegal and unauthorised constructions in the name of compassion and hardship,” the bench said.
“Such actions have done irreparable harm to the concept of planned development of cities and urban areas,” it added.
The court said: “It is high time that executive and the political apparatus of the State take serious view of the menace of illegal and unauthorized constructions and stop their support to the lobbies of affluent class of builders and others, else even the rural areas of the country will soon witness similar chaotic conditions.”
It lamented that unlike the developed countries, planned development in India has gone for a toss and in the last four decades almost all cities—big or small—have seen unplanned development.
“In the 21st century, the menace of illegal and unauthorised constructions and encroachments has acquired monstrous proportions and everyone has been paying a heavy price for the same,” it said.
The Court said in most cases of illegal constructions, the officers of the municipal and other regulatory bodies turn a blind eye to the issue, “either due to the influence of higher functionaries of the state or other extraneous reasons.”
It said the people belonging to this class did not realise unauthorised constructions put “unbearable burden on the public facilities/amenities like water, electricity, sewerage etc apart from creating chaos on roads.”