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HC stays order on dhabas

The Delhi High Court stayed an order that asked the MCD to crack down on unlicensed roadside eateries across Delhi and shut them within a month, reports Harish V Nair.

delhi Updated: Oct 31, 2008 01:24 IST
Harish V Nair
Harish V Nair
Hindustan Times

Delhiites can continue enjoying dhaba food.

The Delhi High Court on Thursday stayed an order that asked the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to crack down on unlicensed roadside eateries across Delhi and shut them within a month.

A vacation bench of Justices Mukul Mudgal and S. Ravindra Bhat put on hold the October 16 order of judge S.N. Dhingra after the MCD filed a petition challenging it.

Terming Justice Dhingra’s order as “erroneous” and “irrational”, MCD lawyer Ajay Arora said the court “had gone beyond the scope of the subject matter before it”. Arora contended that the petition on which Justice Dhingra passed the order pertained to a contempt case relating to desealing of some PCOs.

“It was property-specific and therefore the judge could not have passed a blanket orders relating to all dhabas in the capital by treating it like a public interest litigation”, he told the court.

The MCD said it had filed the appeal to place the “full facts” regarding the dhabas before the court and asserted it was taking action against illegal dhabas from time to time. Pointing out that there were about 20,000 dhabas running in areas under its jurisdiction, the MCD said the court order, if implemented, would affect the livelihood of lakhs of people.

The civic agency said it planned to evolve a system that ensures the poor get hygienic food at cheap rates and at the same time ensures these eateries run according to rules.

Reacting to the stay order, the chairman of the standing committee of the MCD, Vijendra Gupta, said directions have been issued to municipal commissioner K.S. Mehra to ensure that actual facts are now placed before the court. The civic body is now planning to issue a large number of licenses to dhaba owners in the city.

First Published: Oct 31, 2008 01:22 IST