The Supreme Court on Monday gave 15 days to the Centre for inviting objections to the proposed amendments in the Master Plan of Delhi-2021 and asked it to finalize it after considering all the aspects.
A bench headed by Justice Madan B. Lokur, which had earlier stayed any amendments in the Master Plan, modified its order partially asking the Centre to invite objections and thereafter finalize it after taking into consideration the objections of the public.
The apex court had on March 6 put a stay on proposed amendments to the Delhi Master Plan 2021 that sought to protect traders from a sealing drive in the national capital by increasing the floor area ratio (FAR).
During the hearing, Attorney General K.K. Venugopal, appearing for the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) sought modification of the March 6 order and said the statutory authorities cannot be prohibited from framing laws.
Venugopal also submitted an action plan for monitoring of all construction activities in Delhi and fixing responsibility in cases of violation of the Master Plan and the building bye-laws.
He said strong action would be taken if it was found that unauthorized constructions have come up in an area due to the connivance of public servants.
The bench then asked the DDA to apprise it whether the government officials would be placed under suspension if they failed to perform their duty and unauthorized constructions come up in areas under their jurisdiction.
“Will you suspend such officials immediately? This does not take us anywhere. One can understand if you say that the official would be suspended immediately but you are not saying that. If you are presuming that the official is in connivance, the least you can do is to suspend the official,” the bench said.
As the Attorney General sought time to respond to the court’s query, the matter has now been posted for May 17 for further hearing.
The bench asked the DDA to advertise in the leading dailies on three consecutive days the action plan placed before it.
The DDA said the action plan aimed at curbing corruption and the persons responsible in the department would be held accountable for any unauthorized construction in their respective areas.
Hearing the arguments of the Attorney General, the bench said: “There is a garbage dump of around 68 meters high and you are not able to do anything about it. Wherever you want to take the garbage, people are objecting. The situation is irreversible. There is no water, so people cannot drink water. There is pollution, so people cannot breathe and there is garbage. Where is the city going?”
The bench also asked the Centre to publish in the newspapers the notification issued on the constitution of a Special Task Force (STF) so that the people and the stakeholders are aware of their responsibility.
The STF was formed by the Central government to monitor issues relating to unauthorized constructions in Delhi and will take steps to demolish them.
It would also identify areas of congestion of traffic in Delhi and suggest measures to remedy the same to local bodies and other agencies.
The court was hearing pleas relating to the validity of the Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Act, 2006 and subsequent legislation protecting unauthorized construction from being sealed in Delhi.