Apex court raps agencies over dharnas against sealing drive
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday slammed the public authorities over dharnas and strikes against the ongoing sealing drive and described it as the "breakdown of law and order in Delhi."
The apex court said that the Centre and other authorities have failed to do their job, which has resulted in such a situation and termed it a "very serious issue" concerning governance.
"Government and its bodies are not doing their jobs. This is an admission of failure by you that 'I have failed to do my job, so please help us'," the bench of Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta observed, adding, "This is a very serious issue. It is a matter of governance and people of Delhi are suffering because you are not doing your job."
The bench told Additional Solicitor General (ASG) ANS Nadkarni, "You cannot go on destroying Delhi. There has to be some reason. Tell us that there will be no 'dharnas' in Delhi. There is a complete breakdown of law and order in Delhi," the bench stated while asking the Centre to justify its stand supporting the laws which protect unauthorised constructions.
In response, Nadkarni said there were lakhs of immigrants in Delhi, due to which there was a gap between demand and supply and there were around 1,400 unauthorised colonies, housing around six lakh families.
However, the top court took exception to the fact that no official data and figures were available on record regarding the number of such people residing in such colonies and unauthorised structures.
The court also raised the issue of "repeated temporary statutes" and asked whether it can be done like this.
"Every time you tell Parliament that extend it for one more year. Can you go on like this? Please look into this, otherwise, you are befooling Parliament."
Lawyers also raised the issue of the amendment in the DDA's Master Plan of Delhi, which was earlier rejected by the apex court.
The bench referred to the laws protecting unauthorised constructions here and asked the ASG if the orders passed by the top court in this matter have been "nullified".
"No. Court orders cannot be nullified," Nandkarni said, adding, "The Supreme Court's orders stand."
During the hearing, the bench also sought to know whether there were facilities and infrastructures like sewage, drainage, parking, green areas, schools in unauthorised colonies here and whether the residents there were paying the taxes.
It asked the Centre to tell us what it proposes to do to deal with the issue and show the relevant documents and posted the matter for hearing on Tuesday.With agency inputs
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