Shut all coaching centres without fire safety certificate: HC | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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Shut all coaching centres without fire safety certificate: HC

Jul 25, 2023 11:47 PM IST

The Delhi HC said Master Plan-2021 permit coaching centres to operate, but no such institutions will be allowed to run contrary master plan provisions

The Delhi high court on Tuesday directed the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to shut down all coaching centres and other commercial activities allowed under mixed land use in the national capital, if they are not found to have fire clearance certificates and are non-compliant with other norms laid down under the city’s Master Plan-2021 (MPD-2021).

The order comes while hearing a bunch of public interest litigations by residents of Mukherjee Nagar. (Sanchit Khanna/HT Photo)
The order comes while hearing a bunch of public interest litigations by residents of Mukherjee Nagar. (Sanchit Khanna/HT Photo)

Taking a stern view over unauthorised coaching centres mushrooming across the city, a bench of chief justice Satish Chandra Sharma and justice Sanjeev Narula said that even though the Master Plan-2021 permit coaching centres to operate, no such institutions will be allowed to run contrary to provisions of the master plan.

The matter will be further heard on October 10.

The order comes while hearing a bunch of public interest litigations by residents of Mukherjee Nagar, including Kanchan Gupta, residents of Lado Sarai and other places, who have sought closing down of the illegal coaching centres, which are causing health and life hazards to them.

The court was also hearing a plea it had initiated by itself after a June 15 blaze at a coaching centre in north Delhi’s Mukherjee Nagar — which resulted in the injury of 61 students.

Directing authorities to cancel the registration of all non-conforming institutions within 40 days, the court noted the statement of Delhi Police, which said that following inspections, of the 583 coaching institutes in Delhi, only 67 have a certificate from the Delhi Fire Service.

In a separate status report, the fire department told the court that it carried out a survey of 461 coaching centres and found that requisite fire preventive and safety measures were not adopted as per the DFS Act-2007 and Rules-2010.

“The MPD-2021 provides for registration of mixed land use upon charges. Undisputedly, the registration has to be done by MCD, subject to fulfilment of condition as enumerated under the clause 15.7.3 of the MPD…In the considered opinion of this court, if a coaching centre is not conforming to the norms as per the MPD, it has to be shut down. There is no other alternative. Resultantly the respondents are directed to close down all coaching centres which do not have fire no-objection certificate (NOC),” the court said in a verbal order.

“It is needless to mention that in respect of other commercial activities which are also going on in Mukherjee Nagar and registration has been granted by the MCD for mixed use premises, the MCD will scrutinise all such other registrations to ensure compliance of the norms under MPD and take appropriate actions against them if they are non-conforming with the MPD,” the court said.

Directing all authorities, including the Delhi government, police, and the fire department to provide logistical support to the MCD to shut non-conforming institutes, the court said that the civic body shall be free to cancel the registration as they are not fulfilling the requisite norms.

“There should not be a coaching centre contrary to the MPD-2021 and all the coaching centres are under the obligation to comply with MPD,” the bench said.

During the hearing, advocate Puja Kalra, appearing for the MCD, told the court that clause 15.7 of the MPD-2021 permits other activities in residential areas. She added that coaching centres/tuition centres other than those imparting structured courses leading to degree or diploma, or conducting classes such as a playschool, are permissible in the residential areas.

The counsel, however, added that such coaching centres are permissible only in respect of certain roads as specified under clause 15.7.2 of MPD, and they should have the requisite clearances, including a fire no-objection certificate.

Meanwhile, advocate Santosh Kumar Tripathi, standing counsel of the Delhi government (civil), who appeared for the Delhi Police and the fire department, told the court that they had conducted a fire safety audit and it was found that 95% of these institutions do not have the fire clearance. He further submitted that they are not the authority to close down coaching centres. “It is the MCD which has the power to close down the centre if it does not have fire NOC,” he said.

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