“What is meaning of being booked?” asked the Delhi High Court, pulling up the MCD for its “invariable stand” and “common refrain” in response to showcause notices issued by the court on illegal constructions. The civic body, in its response, had stated that the properties stand “booked.”
“It is high time that meaningful order has to be passed on unauthorised and illegal constructions, which are rampant and need to be stopped. Rather, it should be stated that the citizens of Delhi as well as public officials are to ensure that provisions of law are strictly complied with,” said a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar.
Earlier, members of All India Anti-Corruption and Crime Prevention Society had filed a petition saying several constructions in Delhi were in contravention of statutory provisions and by-laws, with the connivance of MCD officials. The unauthorised constructions were having a severe impact on the sanitation and health conditions in the city, said the plea.
The bench said in response to demolition orders, “People who had constructed the illegal properties said they were ‘compoundable’ ( capable of being entered in a compromise). This was claimed as a matter of right. But, compounding could only be done in cases of genuine mistake and not deliberate violation of law by deviating from the sanctioned plan.” The bench added the rules were not being enforced and illegal constructions were being allowed.
The bench then appointed as court commissioners, D R Karthikeyan, former director of CBI, R M S Liberhan, former director of Indian Habitat Centre and Ravinder Kaur, Retd district and sessions judge. The commissioners would identify properties and conduct physical inspection in all corporations.
The committee has to submit the report within six weeks, said the bench. The next hearing has been listed for July 18.