The sealing was conducted on a complaint by revenue department officials.(Sanchit Khanna/HT File Photo)
The sealing was conducted on a complaint by revenue department officials.(Sanchit Khanna/HT File Photo)

SDMC deseals residential properties after Supreme Court order

The Supreme Court has given three days to unlock properties in Vasant Kunj and Rajokri, which were sealed in March 2019 for unauthorised construction on their premises.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Ashish Mishra
UPDATED ON AUG 18, 2020 05:48 AM IST

The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) on Monday night desealed residential properties in Vasant Kunj and Rajokri following the Supreme Court’s ruling that the monitoring committee had no powers to act against private residential properties violating rules, including unauthorised construction.

Civic officials said the process was started in the morning and an order to deseal the properties was issued on Monday afternoon.

The development comes after the top court on Friday had said the court-appointed monitoring committee, formed in 2006 to check the illegal use of properties, can act only against commercial properties flouting laws, and not residential ones.

The Supreme Court has given three days to unlock these properties in Vasant Kunj and Rajokri, which were sealed in March 2019 for unauthorised construction on their premises.

“We have complied with the SC orders and desealed all the 11 residential properties in Vasant Kunj and Rajokri. Today (Monday) late evening, our teams visited these properties and unsealed them,” a senior SDMC official said, who wished not to be named.

The sealing was conducted on a complaint by revenue department officials. On February 22, 2019, the area SDM wrote to the monitoring committee regarding “large-scale” unauthorised construction in Green Avenue, Pocket D-3, of Vasant Kunj.

In March 2019, acting on the complaints, the committee, along with officials of SDMC, the revenue department and the police, sealed at least 11 residential properties, some of which are farmhouses, over a period of two days.

The court had on Friday specified that the monitoring committee could take action only against commercial units operating in residential areas and encroaching on public land. It said the committee is “not authorised” to take action against unauthorised constructions in residential premises situated on private land.

The municipalities will have the authority under law to take action against illegal construction, it said.

A member of the monitoring committee said, “We are aware of the Supreme Court order on desealing of residential properties and farmhouses in Vasant Kunj. We will follow the apex court’s directives and all these properties will be desealed in the given time frame of three days. We have conveyed this (to deseal farmhouses) to the SDMC.”

Another senior SDMC official said that now efforts would be made to determine the action that can be taken by the civic body against the property owners for illegal construction.

“There are properties where unauthorised constructions were being done without any sanctioned plan or approval from SDMC. After desealing, the property we will determine if a penalty has to be slapped against the owners or demolish the unauthorised construction in the premises,” the official said.

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