BJP, AAP, Congress meet SC panel, urge suspension of sealing drive
The representatives of the AAP, the BJP and the Congress jointly submitted that as day-to-day hearing in sealing case is set to start from April 2, action against properties for alleged building bye-laws violation should be deferred for the time beingdelhi Updated: Mar 21, 2018 23:55 IST
Three major political parties — ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and Congress on Wednesday unanimously urged the Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee to suspend sealing till the court judgment on amendments to the master plan of Delhi (MPD) 2021.
On March 6, the court had stayed changes to MPD — allowing uniform 350 floor area ratio for shop-cum-residential plots, use of basements to run businesses, and rationalisation of conversion charge — introduced by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA).
The land owning agency had approved changes on February 27.
The representatives of AAP, BJP, and Congress jointly submitted that as day-to-day hearing in sealing case is set to start from April 2, action against properties for alleged building bye-laws violation should be deferred for the time being.
Panel members, Bhure Lal and K J Rao, heard the suggestions and complaints of the leaders, but did not give any assurance in this regard.
The ‘all-party’ meeting with the SC committee held at Delhi Secretariat, was attended by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari. Delhi Congress’ legal department incharge Aman Panwar and party’s councillor from Andrews Ganj Abhishek Dutt were also present.
This was the second all-party meeting called by the Delhi government over sealing issue. Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken, who had participated in the earlier meeting held on March 13 at CM’s residence, skipped Wednesday’s meeting.
During the discussion, BJP protested over sealing without serving advance notice to alleged offenders. Tiwari suggested that aggrieved parties should be informed why their properties are being sealed.
On the other hand, Congress contended that Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Act, 2006 grants immunity to unauthorised colonies, urban villages, and special areas — Old Delhi, Karol Bagh, Paharganj, and Roshanara Road — defined in MPD.
“The committee informed that no sealing was being carried out in areas having protection under the Act. And also, they haven’t planned to go those localities in future,” said Panwar.
After the meeting AAP said that the committee had confirmed that an ordinance or a bill will stop sealing drive.
“We have urged the committee to stop sealing till SC order on amendments in MPD. We still say that bringing an ordinance or a bill will be a solution to the sealing problem. When we asked the committee if they would accept ordinance and stop sealing, they said it would because the panel works as per the laws made by the public representatives,” said Saurabh Bhardwaj, AAP’s spokesperson.
Following a discussion with Tiwari and Congress leaders, the government has decided to hire senior lawyers for representing the stand of the Centre, the Delhi government and the municipal corporations before the SC.
“Today’s meeting ended on a positive note. CM Kejriwal also endorsed our views that sealing must be stopped till the court final verdict on modifications in MPD. I said that any law which criminalises majority should be repealed. We must have humanitarian approach,” Tiwari said.
The BJP had boycotted the previous meeting in protest against the alleged misbehaviour by AAP leaders and workers with its delegation, including Tiwari, that had gone to CM’s residence to discuss the sealing issue in January.
This time, Tiwari attended the meeting along with Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta and Kamaljeet Sehrawat, the mayor of South Delhi Municipal Corporation.
“Kejriwal said that he would be meeting with minister of state (independent charge) of housing and urban affairs Hardeep Singh Puri on Monday and discuss the lawyers matter with him,” Tiwari said.