2 more days before traders breathe easy

Updated on Nov 22, 2006 02:37 AM IST

The 25,000 traders expecting relief from MCD drive will have to wait for 2 more days, reports Satya Prakash.

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None | BySatya Prakash, New Delhi

The 25,000-odd traders/professionals expecting relief from sealing drive in the capital will have to wait for two more days.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday gave two days to its Monitoring Committee to verify the authenticity of the affidavits filed by traders and professionals that they have stopped commercial use of their residential premises in accordance with their earlier undertakings.

In its report submitted to the court, the Committee had sought two days to conduct random checks to verify the claims made by 18,459 of the 25,000 traders and professionals who informed the MCD about compliance of their undertakings.

A three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice YK Sabharwal asked the Committee to submit a fresh report by Wednesday and fixed November 23 to consider the mercy plea of the Centre and Municipal Corporation of Delhi for relief from sealing to this category of traders/professionals.

The court permitted a Lajpat Nagar trader to file affidavit of stoppage of misuse of his premises even after the expiry of the November 19 deadline as senior counsel Mukul Rohtagi submitted that he could not file the affidavit due to bereavement in his family.

However, the Bench turned down his plea for extending the deadline for a few days, saying, “there is no question of extending it.”

The court said that in these types of cases it had to say ‘no’ as otherwise those who have already filed the compliance affidavit would suffer. “There has to be a cut-off date,” it emphasized.

On the last date of hearing the court had indicated that among the 25,000-odd traders/professionals, those filing compliance affidavits might get relief from sealing.

The court would decide whether the traders/professionals could for the present be relieved temporarily from their original undertakings and placed on a par with others covered under the September seven and 15 notifications.

The traders covered under the notifications have been allowed to operate till the court decides the validity of the said notifications subject to their filing affidavits by January 31, 2007 that they would abide by the court’s decision on the issue.

The court’s order would also be applicable to those who have already shut down their shops or whose premises have been sealed as also those who have stopped misuse of their premises in compliance of their affidavits.

Meanwhile, 12 schools, some of them functioning since 1962, adversely affected by the sealing drive requested the court to take up their plea for relief at an early date. On behalf of the schools, senior counsel M N Krishnamani submitted that Board examinations were to be held early next year and the future of students of these schools was at stake.

He said there were about 1,700 such schools and eight lakh students were adversely affected due to the drive and that the schools should be granted some sort of relief.

However, the Bench did not fix any date for hearing of the schools’ petition and instead advised them to approach Amicus Curiae Ranjit Kumar and MCD counsel Sanjiv Sen with their prayer.

Email Satya Prakash: satya.prakash@hindustantimes.com

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