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Will make you sealing officer: Supreme Court tells Manoj Tiwari

Manoj Tiwari later said that he would file an affidavit in the apex court in a week explaining his position.

delhi Updated: Sep 26, 2018 03:18 IST
Bhadra Sinha
Bhadra Sinha
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Supreme Court,Delhi,BJP
On Tuesday, the government’s revenue department demolished at least 60 illegally built structures and sealed three farmhouses that had come up on forest land in south Delhi’s Bhati village.(HT Photo)

Taking exception to Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Manoj Tiwari’s statement to a TV channel that the court-appointed sealing committee has failed to take action against at least 1,000 unauthorised properties in the national capital, the Supreme Court on Wednesday asked him to reveal details of these premises so that it can give him the authority to seal them.

“So what if you are an MP? We will make you the sealing officer. Give us the list by tomorrow morning and we will let you seal the properties,” a bench led by Justice MB Lokur told Tiwari’s counsel, senior advocate Vikas Singh, who accused the monitoring panel of filing a complaint against Tiwari to seek publicity.

Unimpressed with Singh’s submission, the court directed Tiwari to file an affidavit within a week to explain why he allegedly broke the seal of a premises, being run in violation of the Delhi Master Plan. It fixed October 3 as the next date of hearing.

Tiwari was present in the court pursuant to the top court’s direction seeking his personal appearance after the monitoring committee told the bench that Tiwari had broken the locks of a dairy on the grounds that it had been wrongly sealed by the committee. On September 17, the East Delhi Municipal Corporation had registered a first information report (FIR) against Tiwari, who is a member of Parliament from North-east Delhi, for allegedly breaking the seal of the premises in Gokalpuri village in his constituency a day earlier.

Following the directions of Supreme Court- appointed monitoring committee, civic agencies of Delhi on December 15 started sealing properties violating municipal norms. The three civic agencies have sealed over 6,000 properties, including shops, offices, commercial units, and residential dwellings so far for
land-use violation or running industries in non-conforming areas.

Addressing the leader directly, justice Lokur referred to Tiwari’s interview to a TV channel, where he allegedly made the statement accusing the committee of picking and choosing while sealing illegal structures. “Please give us the list and we can authorise you to seal those premises yourself,” justice Lokur told the leader.

Singh rebutted allegations by the monitoring committee, saying the panel was misusing the court’s orders. At this, justice Deepak Gupta, also a member of the bench, said Tiwari should have come to court rather than breaking the seal on his own.

Tiwari later said that he would file an affidavit in the apex court in a week explaining his position. “I am pleased that we could put before the court the issues we wanted to raise, and the honourable judges have agreed to hear us. During the hearing, I was asked about a TV interview, in which I had reportedly said 1,000 illegal proprieties were spared by the monitoring committee. I have been provided a CD of that purported interview. After watching the clip, I will submit my affidavit before the next date of hearing.”

The Supreme Court had, in the last hearing on September 19, called Tiwari’s act of opening the seal “unfortunate.” Taking cognisance of the panel report the court said it reflected a “rather disturbing state of affairs”.

In its report, the monitoring committee has said that “despite repeated directions of this court, the members of political parties and other such persons are intentionally and deliberately violating and showing utter disgrace to the directions passed by the court for political gains”.

First Published: Sep 26, 2018 03:18 IST