The Supreme Court on Friday lamented that after being pillaged by invaders for centuries, Delhi was now being ravaged by its own citizens and officials turning their back on the unauthorised use of residential premises for commercial purposes.
“Invaders have pillaged Delhi for hundreds of years, but for the last couple of decades, it is being ravaged by its own citizens and officials governing the capital city,” said the bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta pointing to unauthorized constructions and misuse of residential premises for industrial and other commercial purposes.
The court’s statement came as it revived the monitoring committee to monitor the unauthorised construction in the national capital.
“Any challenge to the decision of the Monitoring Committee will lie to this Court only,” said Justice Lokur, speaking for the bench.
“We are constrained and compelled to make this order given the history of the case and the more than serious observations of this Court of an apparent nexus between some entities and the observations regarding corruption and nepotism.
“We make it clear that henceforth it will not be necessary for any person whose residential premises have been sealed for misuse for any commercial (other than industrial) purposes at the instance of the Monitoring Committee to file an appeal before the appropriate statutory Appellate Tribunal,” said Justice Lokur pronouncing the judgment.
The court said that instead the “person can directly approach the Monitoring Committee for relief after depositing an amount of Rs 100,000 with the committee “which will keep an account of the amounts received by it”.
It further said that any person who has already approached the statutory Appellate Tribunal can approach the Monitoring Committee for relief by withdrawing his earlier appeal before the tribunal, provided the premises were sealed at the latter’s instance.
The court reappointed senior counsel Ranjit Kumar as amicus curiae after it noted that despite its series of orders since 2004, there was either resistance to them or half-hearted compliance.