SC to hear Centre plea on sealing order in Delhi
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SC to hear Centre plea on sealing order in Delhi

SC is taking undertakings that trade will be done only in commercial areas, reports Satya Prakash.

india Updated: Oct 18, 2006 13:12 IST

The Supreme Court will on October 18 hear the Centre’s plea for modification of its order restraining it from issuing further notifications for conversion of residential properties into commercial ones and dispense with the requirement of filing undertakings by traders to avail the benefit of September 7 and 15 notifications.

The Centre’s application was mentioned by Additional Solicitor General Amrendra Sharan before a Bench headed by Chief Justice Y K Sabharwal which fixed Wednesday for hearing.

On behalf of the traders, Senior counsel Mukul Rohatagi also mentioned an application seeking relief for those traders who filed affidavits earlier and now have been ordered to close down by October 31. This application will also be taken up the same day.

In its application, the Urban Development Ministry has said apart from the 2183 streets declared eligible for mixed land use there were other similarly placed streets/areas and non-notification of the latter was likely to result into discrepancies on the ground and “a feeling of resentment”.

It enumerated the "administrative difficulties" likely to arise in the implementation of the September 29 order requiring the commercial premises covered under the September seven and 15 notifications to file undertakings by November 10 and the enormity of the exercise involved in the process.

Stating that lakhs of establishments on the 2183 streets covered under the notifications would be required to file such undertakings, the Centre submitted that "it would be an extremely difficult and Herculean task for all such establishments to complete the process of tendering of undertakings within such a short period".

The court had asked the beneficiaries of the two notifications to file undertakings that misuse should stop as per the directions of the court if the Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Act, 2006 was invalidated and/or the notification was quashed.

However, the Centre submitted that if the court were to ultimately hold the notifications as unconstitutional, the premises covered under the same would no longer be protected and they would have to stop the misuse forthwith. “As such, undertakings may not be required to be given to further stop what would then be a prohibited activity," it said seeking to dispense with the undertakings.

In its September 29 order giving festive relief to traders, the court had also said that the undertakings shall state that trade was being conducted in respect of the permissible items and only in that part of the premises in which commercial activity was permitted under the impugned notifications.

It required every such trader covered under the notifications to file a certificate issued by a registered Architect along with the undertaking. However, the Centre submitted that there were only about 6000 Architects registered in the capital and all of them may not be available at a time for undertaking the task of certifying the use of the premises for commercial/mixed use activity.

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First Published: Oct 17, 2006 00:39 IST