The Supreme Court on Tuesday took strong exception to BJP Delhi chief and MP Manoj Tiwari for allegedly violating its directions on the sealing of illegal structures in the national capital, and said that being an MP does not give him liberty to take the law in his hands.
Tiwari was present before the court in pursuance to the contempt notice issued to him for allegedly breaking the seal of a premises which was being run in violation of the Delhi Master Plan.
The apex court expressed its anguish against his statement in which he had said that the monitoring committee was not sealing thousands of illegal structures and directed him to file an affidavit within a week.
A bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur asked the BJP leader to explain his claims made to a news channel related to the Delhi sealing matter.
"Mr Tiwari, in your CD, you say there are one thousand places which deserve to be sealed. Give us a list of these places. We will make you the sealing officer," said the bench, also comprising Justices S Abdul Nazeer and Deepak Gupta.
Tiwari, who is an MP from northeast Delhi constituency has an FIR against him by the East Delhi Municipal Corporation for allegedly breaking the seal of a premises in Gokalpuri area in north-east Delhi.
Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for Tiwari, said that no seal was broken by the BJP leader and he himself being an MP has not ever disrupted the sealing process. The lawyer said he need time to file a detailed reply in the matter.
"We are asking you, have you seen the CD? In the CD he says there are thousand places which deserve to be sealed. He is a member of the Parliament. That does not give him liberty to take law in his hands," the court said.
It then directed Tiwari to appear on October 3 when it will next hear the matter.
While taking a serious note of a report filed by the apex court-mandated monitoring committee in this regard, the top court had earlier observed that it was "unfortunate" that an elected representative should try to defy the orders of the top court.
The court had taken cognisance of the panel report and said it reflected a "rather disturbing state of affairs".
In its report, the monitoring committee has said that "despite repeated directions of this court, the 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".
Senior advocate Ranjit Kumar, assisting the court as an amicus curiae in the Delhi sealing matter, had placed the committee's report before the bench and said an FIR has been lodged against Tiwari for allegedly breaking the seal of the premises which was being used as a dairy.
He had that said the premises has been "re-sealed" and video of the incident was also annexed with report of the committee, which has suggested stringent action in the matter.
The apex court had earlier too taken a strong note of interference in the working of the monitoring committee, which has been mandated to identify and seal illegal constructions in the national capital.
In the report, the committee has 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 as per directions of this court."
The top court had earlier ordered restoration of its 2006 monitoring committee to identify and seal the offending structures.
The monitoring committee, comprising K J Rao, former advisor to the Election Commissioner, Bhure Lal, chairman of Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority, and Major General (Retd) Som Jhingan, was set up on March 24, 2006, by the court.
The top court is also seized of the issue related to validity of the Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Act, 2006 and subsequent legislations which protect unauthorised construction from being sealed.