MCDs to move Supreme Court to seek 6-month stay on sealinghttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/mcds-to-move-supreme-court-to-seek-6-month-stay-on-sealing/

MCDs to move Supreme Court to seek 6-month stay on sealing

The three municipal corporations — North, East and South — Saturday jointly resolved to file an appeal in the Supreme Court seeking a six-month stay on the ongoing sealing drive.

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Officials faced protests from traders during the sealing drive in Defence Colony. (Express Photo/Praveen Khanna)

The three municipal corporations — North, East and South — Saturday jointly resolved to file an appeal in the Supreme Court seeking a six-month stay on the ongoing sealing drive. The decision was taken during a meeting called by the three BJP-ruled MCDs to deliberate on ways to provide relief to traders.

The joint House passed two resolutions — the first seeking temporary relief for traders from sealing by making an appeal in the court, and the second urging the Delhi government to take up the matter of the 2021 Master Plan with the Centre.

The second resolution also seeks notification of 351 roads in various parts of Delhi as commercial or mixed-land use by the Delhi government. “If these roads are notified, the sealing will be halted,” an official said.

“The joint House of the three municipal corporations resolves that an appeal be made in the Supreme Court seeking a six-month stay on the sealing drive… and a request be made to the apex court to direct the monitoring committee to halt the sealing for six months,” the resolution said. It also said that the services of the Additional Solicitor General of India (ASG) be sought to put forth the corporations’ point of view before the court.

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The corporations have been carrying out sealing drives since December last year, with thousands of shops being sealed on the instructions of the Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee. The shops were sealed for non-payment of conversion charges, encroachment and illegal construction.

The joint session was called to chalk out a plan, but the House was marred by disruptions as AAP councillors entered the Well of the House, holding placards and raising slogans. The three mayors — Kamaljeet Sehrawat (SDMC), Preety Agarwal (North DMC) and Neema Bhagat (EDMC) — temporarily left the House and returned after order was restored. Meanwhile, the Congress and the AAP hit out at the BJP alleging that its seven Lok Sabha MPs did not turn up for the meeting.

Minister asks L-G: Can sealing be stopped

As a special joint session of the three municipal corporations was underway on Saturday, Union Minister Vijay Goel took up the issue of the ongoing sealing drive and asked Lt-Governor Anil Baijal to see if it could be stopped.

Suggesting that the L-G hold a meeting with the Chief Minister and the MCD commissioners on the issue, Goel said multiplicity of decision- making was “leading to a chaotic and confusing situation”.

“It is sad that we are witnessing the sealing drive as per the Supreme Court’s Monitoring Committee’s decision but there is rampant illegal construction across Delhi — especially in Old Delhi’s Chandni Chowk. It is important that those responsible for allowing illegal use of space are held equally responsible and strict action is taken,” Goel said.