“Is the law different for the rich and the poor?” asked the Supreme Court as it questioned the delay in implementing its orders against misuse of premises in the posh Khan Market.
“For the poor, it’s enforced, but when it comes to an area where the rich go, there is no action,” Justice Deepak Gupta remarked while quizzing Additional Solicitor General Atmaram Nadkarni and Delhi Development Authority vice-chairman Tarun Kapoor on enforcing fire safety guidelines for restaurants in the market.
A three-judge bench, headed by Justice Madan B Lokur and also comprising Justice Hemant Gupta, was hearing the matter Wednesday.
“What are you doing? Do you want a repeat of what happened in Mumbai? It is very clear that a (restaurant with) seating capacity of over 50 needs a fire licence. When you go to these places, you can make out that on one floor they have a seating capacity of 40, and on the other (for) another 40. This is playing with the lives of citizens,” Justice Gupta said, in an apparent reference to the Kamla Mills fire tragedy.
“Different law for rich and poor,” remarked Justice Lokur. “Law is same,” replied Nadkarni. To which Justice Lokur said: “Interpretation is different.”
Nadkarni told the bench that the STF will look into the deviations and expedite action against them.