The Supreme Court Wednesday issued a contempt notice to Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari for allegedly breaking open the seal of a premises that had been shut down pursuant to its orders, and asked him to appear before it on September 25. A bench of Justice Madan B Lokur, Justice S Abdul Nazeer and Justice Deepak Gupta, which perused a report of the court-appointed monitoring committee that is overseeing sealing of unauthorised premises in the capital, said: “The report shows a rather disturbing state of affairs where a Hon’ble Member of Parliament, Shri Manoj Tiwari, is alleged to have broken the seal of some premises, despite sealing operations continuing in terms of orders passed by this court.”
The court also referred to a newspaper report about the incident, and said this “indicates a defiant attitude” on his part. “It is rather unfortunate that an elected member should try to defy the orders of this court,” said the bench.
The monitoring committee said that “despite repeated directions of this court, members of political parties and other such persons are intentionally and deliberately violating and showing utter disgrace to the directions passed by the court for political gains”.
It urged the court to “pass stringent directions, including initiation of contempt proceedings against Manoj Tiwari, MP, for seal tampering, so that sealing operations may continue uninterrupted…”
Senior advocate Ranjit Kumar, who is assisting the court as amicus curiae in the matter, said an FIR has been lodged against Tiwari for allegedly breaking the seal. He said the premises has been “re-sealed” and a video of the incident was also annexed with the committee’s report, which has suggested stringent action in the matter.
On Tuesday, Tiwari had gone again to Gokulpuri to break the seal of the premises, that was being used as a dairy, but was stopped amid high police presence.
The monitoring committee, comprising K J Rao, former advisor to the Election Commissioner; Bhure Lal, chairman of
the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority; and Major General (Retd) Som Jhingan, was set up on March 24, 2006, by the court.
In January 2012, the court asked the committee not to seal any more premises, saying it “expected, hoped and believed that the authorities in Delhi would carry out their statutory duties…”
However, with results not coming in, it ordered restoration of the committee earlier this year to identify and seal offending structures.