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SC rejects commercial use of premises

Supreme Court orders a resort in South-west Delhi village to stop commercial use of the premises, reports Satya Prakash.

delhi Updated: Sep 22, 2007 18:10 IST
Satya Prakash

Notwithstanding the latest ordinance promulgated by the Centre providing blanket protection to illegal constructions and their users in the Capital, the Supreme Court on Friday ordered a resort in South-west Delhi village to stop commercial use of the premises.

A bench headed by Justice Arijit Pasayat asked the petitioner to cease all commercial activities except in portions of the resort currently occupied by some customers. Allowing Avalon Resorts to complete the lease signed with four customers that were due to expire in February-March 2008, the court said no commercial activities shall be allowed after the expiry of the lease.

Senior counsel AM Singhvi pointed out on behalf of the petitioner that the commercial activities of Avalon Resorts in a village


were protected under the ordinance issued on September 15. The court said: "If you are seeking the relief and relying on the ordinance then be prepared to face contempt proceedings."

Earlier, MCD counsel Sanjiv Sen said that after the promulgation of the ordinance all such activities were protected from sealing and demolition, but the court had not commented on it.

Senior counsel Ranjit Kumar, who is assisting the bench in the sealing matter, had accused the petitioner of misleading the court by concealing certain facts. Avalon Resorts had moved the apex court challenging the Monitoring Committee's direction to seal its premises in the restricted residential area of Lal Dora.

The petitioner had contended that it was only operating a 52-room service apartment catering to the residential needs of big corporate houses and its activities cannot be termed as commercial.

The resort had first adopted the plea that there was no commercial activity at its premises in Sultanpur village, but later sought to take shelter under the ordinance.

The Delhi Pradesh Citizen Council has already challenged the validity of the ordinance issued barely a few days after the Supreme Court ordered the sealing of commercial establishments in 1,500 unauthorised colonies in Delhi.

The ordinance, which gave blanket protection to such premises from sealing and demolition till 2008, covers illegal structures and users in unauthorised colonies, village


and villages extentions by extending the Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Ordinance, 2007 — due to expire September 21 — till December 31, 2008.

According to the new ordinance, formulated in terms of Master Plan for Delhi-2021, the immunity would cover all encroachments, unauthorised occupation of Government or public land for residential or commercial or any other use including unauthorised development. It empowers the Centre to take all possible measures for finalising norms, policy guidelines and feasible strategies to deal with the problem of encroachments.

Such encroachments include schools, dispensaries, religious institutions, cultural institutions, slum dwellers, slum clusters, hawkers, urban street vendors, unauthorised colonies, village


areas and extensions, existing farm houses, warehouses, godowns used for agricultural produce.