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We've been misled by politicians: Delhi traders

40,000 odd traders in Delhi are facing closure of their shops in view of affidavits filed by them in the SC.

india Updated: Oct 31, 2006 15:22 IST

Agitating traders have confessed before the Supreme Court appointed monitoring committee that they were misled by various politicians in filing affidavits of undertaking in the Court to stop the operation of commercial establishments in residential areas by June 30.

The monitoring committee, in its report filed in the Supreme Court on Monday, has sought powers from the Supreme Court to decide on the date of resumption of sealing operations taking into consideration the law and order situation. The sealing will be resumed within 15 days as per the monitoring committee report.

Given the task of overseeing the sealing operations in the national capital, the monitoring committee has also sought directions to the Centre to provide adequate forces for the sealing operations, besides ensuring the safety of the sealing teams involved.

The Supreme Court has been requested to direct the MCD and Delhi police to do the video recording of the sealing operations and critical events like violent speeches by political leaders and leaders of traders inciting people to disrupt the sealing operations.

The committee has also requested to consider the plight of 40,000 odd traders in Delhi who are facing closure of their shops in view of the affidavits filed by them in the Supreme Court while those who had not filed the affidavits are being allowed to continue till the decision of this court on the validity of the two impugned notifications dated September 7 and 15 permitting mixed land use along 2183 roads in Delhi.

The committee has appealed to the court to take a view on the issue and grant them some concession. In event of the court giving concession to the traders, the monitoring committee would resume the sealing operations in respect of the negative list mentioned in the court's orders dated August 2000.

The recommendations by the committee have been made to the court on the basis of the feedback from the Commissioner of Delhi Police, the Chief Secretary of Delhi government and the Joint Director, Intelligence Bureau who have told the monitoring committee that there may be a serious law and order problem if the sealing operations were resumed from November 1, the last day of the three-day bandh called by the traders against sealing.

In the meantime, MCD is likely to file an application in the Supreme Court on Tuesday seeking extension of time for the traders in Delhi who had given affidavits of undertaking but are protected by the two impugned notifications.

The court has already directed the remaining traders, who have not filed affidavits but are protected by the notification to file affidavits latest by January 31, 2007 to the effect that they stop the misuse in case the two notifications are quashed by the court as illegal. The Supreme Court has already declined the prayer made on behalf of those traders who had filed affidavits, for extension of time as the deadline expires on Tuesday.

If the monitoring committee's report is accepted by the court, the 40000 odd traders may get at least 15 days for closing their shops on their own.

First Published: Oct 31, 2006 15:20 IST