The Delhi Development Authority faced more heat in the Supreme Court Tuesday over the sealing issue, with the court wondering if it was bothered only about traders and not the people of the capital.
“People of Delhi are irrelevant. Only traders of Delhi are relevant. It seems you exist only for traders,” a bench of Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta told the authority during the hearing on the sealing drive ordered by the court. “Traders come with jhanda and you grant relief. People can’t afford jhanda, so you don’t grant them relief.”
When the counsel for the authority said it was trying to strike a balance, the bench said, “The balance has to be struck in favour of people. Traders are also people, but balance should be in larger public interest.”
Thousands of traders across the city shut their shops and brought out a rally at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan against the ongoing sealing drive Wednesday. Most major markets, including Defence Colony, South Extension I, South Extension II, Sadar Bazar, Kashmere Gate, Khari Baoli, Naya Bazar, Bhagirath Palace, Karol Bagh and Chawri Bazar, remained closed.
“Thousands of traders are participating in the strike and shops have been shut in all markets of the city. We want the Centre to bring an ordinance to end the sealing,” said Praveen Khandelwal, general secretary, Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT). The strike was called by CAIT and the All Delhi Traders’ and Workers’ Association.