Tejinder Khanna Committee
Delhi Sealing drive
Warning to Government, Judiciary and other Authorities. Rajesh Chopra
MPs hurl abuses in LS, almost come to blow
Has Delhi again gone under dictatorship or is any emergency? Rajesh Chopra
Warning to Government, Judiciary and other Authorities. Rajesh Chopra
Demolished by MCD List Of UnAuthorised Constructs DELHI
Govt will go to SC today over Delhi sealing drive 
GoM: Drive on hold, Govt will wait for Sept 25 court hearing
2,183 roads zip into legal zone
16 Sep, 2006
NEW DELHI: Just one day before MCD's city-wide sealing drive, Delhi government showed unprecedented speed in giving a legal tag to 2,183 roads by declaring them commercial, mixed land use and pedestrian shopping streets through a formal notification. 

Delhi government's urban development department, which was given powers to notify these roads by a late night corrigendum of the Union urban development ministry, issued a notification No.F.13/46/2006-UD/PF/16085. 

This not only notifies 1,979 streets, passed by MCD's standing committee on Monday, but also permits status quo to 204 streets forwarded by the civic body on Thursday. 

After scratching its head for three days and drawing a complete blank on how to notify the streets, Delhi government was shown the way by Union urban development ministry on Thursday. 

The government drafted the notification late on Thursday night and sent it for lieutenant-governor B L Joshi's approval on Friday. Within a few hours, Delhi government managed to save certain stretches from sealing drive, that has to be started on Saturday. 

Delhi urban development minister A K Walia said: "We would be able to save the people of Delhi from the sealing drive. This notification would give the people a legal cover." The roads have been notified for commercial use following Union urban development ministry's notification on mixed land use regulations last week. 

The notification has classified the streets under four heads — commercial streets, mixed use streets, pedestrians shopping streets and already notified mixed use streets as commercial streets. 

On the last category, the notification says: "The streets, which have already been notified under mixed use category under MPD-2001 and where more than 70% commercialisation has taken place, have been identified by the corporation as commercial streets." 

The Opposition BJP, however, criticised the government for not defending the people in a legally sound manner. Senior BJP leader Vijay Goel said: "The Congress government is ruining Delhi merely for votes and personal interests. 

The people are in a dilemma. They don't know what to do next and whether the government would be able to defend their actions in the court." 

Goel said that the government should have formulated a comprehensive policy on commercial activities and mixed land use instead of deciding Delhi's fate road by road.

MCD identifies 2000 roads for commercial activities 

New Delhi, September 11
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi, at a special meeting of the Standing Committee held today, identified 2,000 roads for mixed land use and commercialisation. The list of identified roads has been sent to Delhi Government for its approval. Later, it would be tabled before the Lt-Governor for notification. 

Standing Committee Chairman Jaikishan Sharma said the MCD had declared these roads as mixed land use and commercial ones to provide job opportunities to traders, small-time vendors, mechanics etc. The list of roads, pertaining to the E, F and G colonies in Delhi for which a flexible mixed land use policy had been prescribed by the amended Master Plan, includes 682 commercial streets having more than 70 per cent commercialisation, 573 mixed use streets having 50 per cent commercialisation, 599 pedestrian shopping streets (streets of less than 6 metre) and 125 roads or streets already notified as mixed use streets and now identified as commercial streets.

Mr Jaikishan Sharma said a survey was also being carried out in the C and D category colonies to designate commercial and mixed use streets.

Addressing the media after the meeting, he said that the Centre had delegated powers to local bodies like the MCD to designate commercial areas to localities having commercial activities. 

Areas where 50 per cent commercial activities are going on will be declared as mixed land use ones and those having more than 70 per cent commercial activities will be declared as commercial areas. 

Meanwhile, answering questions of the councillors, Municipal Commissioner A. K. Nigam said the present list of 2,000 roads in E, F and G colonies was prepared on the basis of field surveys conducted by survey teams under the respective Deputy Commissioner of the zones.

The notification of the list is in keeping with the present ground realities.

He said that in case any area with more than 50 per cent commercialisation had been left out of the list cleared by the Standing Committee today, the deputy commissioners of the respective zones should be informed.

The Municipal Commissioner said, “We will try to ensure that these roads are notified along with the present list of 2,000 roads.”

He said the notification of the list of commercial and mixed use roads in C and D colonies would be done after consultations with the RWAs as stipulated in the amended Master Plan.

In this context, he clarified that the provision in the amended Master Plan of obtaining an NOC from the RWAs for designating a road in C and D colonies as commercial or for mixed land use was just to facilitate consultation with them and did not amount to handing over total power to these bodies.

However, commercial activities in A and B category or posh colonies have been banned and notification of certain streets in these areas as commercial or mixed use will be considered only on a specific request of the RWA.

New Delhi, September 5. 2006.
No school in the capital, even an unrecognised one is to be sealed. Those with only the ground floor can now have a first floor. banquet halls are not to be allowed in residential areas. And while banks, nursing homes and guest houses with licences will be allowed to continue in residential areas, new ones will not be permitted. All this was decided at the Delhi Development Authority meeting called to discuss and pass amendments to Masterplan 2001. 

The dda considered and incorporated almost 2,000 suggestions it had received over the past one week in a series of public hearings. 

Authority member and MLA Mahabal Misra said, “unrecognised schools have been given an year to get everything in order and acquire recognition. Apart from this,cycle repair shops, which were banned earlier, can now operate from residential areas.” 

The DDA was also supposed to consider a number of other issues today, including changes in land notifications and private public partnership in Narela to construct group housing societies. However, all these issues were put on the backburner. 

A number of suggestions were taken up today. One amongst these was that commercial road width be taken up from 18 metre to 30, said a senior official. 

Also, raising of Floor Area Ratio to 100 per cent in 100 square metre houses, and 75 per cent in 176 -251 square metre houses were also considered. 

Also, construction material can be stored in E, F, G and H categories houses, as long as it is within the boundary walls. Misra said, “These are very important changes and will bring relief to a large section of the population.” 

Target: illegal creches, preschools
After formal schools, it is the turn of Capital’s unauthorised prenursery schools or creches to be sealed. After its multi-storeyed Rohini branch was sealed, the Mothers Pride branch in West Punjabi Bagh was also shut down. And in what may alter the entire idea of having a creche close to one's home, the MCD is now targeting such institutions in residential areas. 

“In the current sealing drive, we are focussing only on pre-schools,'' said MCD Commissioner A K Nigam

"big fish" get another day's reprieve, MCD's
1 Sep, 2006
NEW DELHI: The mega sealing drive set to begin from Friday seems to have lost its fizz even before taking off. The MCD was supposed to down shutters of shops operating from 80 posh residential colonies, including GK-II, Vasant Vihar and South Extension that fall under the top "A" and "B" categories, seal constructions on the fourth floor and above, and target nursing homes and banks not complying with municipal bylaws. 

But on the eve of the much-touted operation, the MCD has said that none of these categories will be targeted on the first day. 

So while the "big fish" get another day's reprieve, MCD's sealing teams would fan out on Friday and go after traders running hazardous, inflammable or polluting units from residential areas. Retailers dealing in building material like timber, marble, iron, steel and sand, firewood, coal, automobile, cycle-rickshaw repair shops, junk dealers and liquor shops will also face the heat. 

So, has the MCD developed a cold feet before going after the "big fish"? Senior MCD officials claim they just want to be sure of the plan of action first. "No one who comes under the purview of the public notice will be spared, but it is just that we want to be clear on how to go ahead with the various categories so that no one can accuse us of any bias. 

So to begin with, the non-controversial categories will be taken up. Let us see what the monitoring committee has to say on Friday," said an official. 

On Friday, MCD's sealing teams will not target any shops in "A" and "B" categories or banks, nursing homes and guesthouses not complying with its bylaws. Pre-primary schools, fitness centres and gyms operating from ground-floor properties will also be spared. 

The MCD will take up shops located on 80-feet wide roads and above in residential areas only from September 16 —the second phase of the sealing drive. 

The ruling Congress in the MCD too has pointed out some areas in which the civic agency may find itself on a sticky wicket during the drive...

Delhi traders worried, turn to government
Thursday, August 10th, 2006 . New Delhi - As the Supreme Court Wednesday ordered resumption of the drive to seal commercial units in the capital’s residential areas, worried traders, supported by politicians, once again appealed to the central government to bail them out.

‘It is a crucial issue involving millions of people and we want the urban development ministry to bail out the traders. For us it is both a political and humanitarian issue and we have already conveyed our comments to the ministry,’ said Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee chief Ram Babu Sharma.

‘Since, the court has given time till Sep 15, we appeal to the government to include the positive recommendations of the Tejinder Khanna committee and implement the Delhi Master Plan 2021 by that time,’ Sharma told IANS. 

A Supreme Court bench Thursday stayed the urban development ministry’s May 20 notification that directed de-sealing of the sealed premises and allowed those who had given an undertaking to stop the commercial activity by June 30 to continue it beyond that day.

The sealing drive had been undertaken following an order of the court to put a stop to the misuse of residential properties for commercial purposes. 

However, the sealing drive will commence again as the bench asked the monitoring committee to re-seal from Sep 16 the 5,006 premises that had been sealed before the notification. The committee will also ensure that the 40,814 commercial establishments who gave an undertaking that they would stop their activity by June 30 must do so by Sep 15, failing which their premises would be sealed from Sep 16.

Reacting to the court directive, trade leaders in the capital said they were going to mount pressure on all political parties to come to their rescue.

‘It seems the service of the traders have never been taken seriously. We are a huge population and the court’s interim order is quite unfortunate,’ said Praveen Khandelwal, secretary general of the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT).

‘From Friday, we will hold a series of consultations with political leaders of the state to rescue us, our families and dependants. We are also meeting Union Urban Development Minister S. Jaipal Reddy and his deputy Ajay Maken to discuss the issue,’ Khandelwal said.

‘If our commercial establishments are going to be re-sealed, then Delhi will lose nearly Rs.30 billion a year,’ he added. 

Khandelwal said the trade body was also consulting lawyers to explore legal options before the trader community.

Meanwhile, authorities in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), in charge of the sealing and demolition of unauthorised constructions, said they were following a ‘wait and watch’ policy on the issue.

‘The ball is in the central government’s court and we are just maintaining a wait-and-watch policy. We are waiting for a copy of the apex court’s directive. We will study it before taking any action,’ said a top MCD official.

‘It’s a tussle between the executive and the judiciary and let them come out with a solution. We are always ready to carry out any directive,’ the officer added.

BJP activists court arrest 
New Delhi, April 16
As many as 227 BJP activists, including state vice-president S.S. Bajwa and secretary Satyeshwari Joshi and Mayur Vihar district president Kuljeet Singh Chhehi courted arrest on the 11th day today and went to jail in protest against the sealing and demolition drive launched by the MCD. 

Delhi unit of the BJP president, Dr Harsh Vardhan, said that till the sealing and demolition were completely stopped, the party activists would continue their movement.

S. S. Bajwa said that due to dictatorial policies of the union and state government policies, trade is being uprooted from the national Capital. 

Business of lakhs of people is simply ruined, he regretted.

SC to hear Bar Association’s plea today
New Delhi, April 6
The Supreme Court will hear tomorrow application filed by the court’s Bar Association seeking exemption for professionals such as lawyers, doctors and chartered accountants from the ongoing sealing drive in the Capital. 

A bench headed by Chief Justice Y K Sabharwal had earlier declined to spare the professionals from the process of sealing of commercial premises operating from residential areas in Delhi. 

It may be noted that an application filed by the Central Government seeking six months’ stay on the sealing process is also pending in the Supreme Court. The Centre is seeking six months to identify the areas where mixed land use can be permitted.

This application is also likely to come up for hearing before the bench comprising Chief Justice Y K Sabharwal and Mr Justice C K Thakker tomorrow.

Cong MLAs urge CM to end demolition drive 

New Delhi, April 16
Much to the embarrassment of Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, a group of Congress MLAs today shouted slogans outside her residence, urging her to take strong measures to stop the ongoing demolition process in the Capital. 

The MLAs, led by Mukesh Sharma, met Mrs Dikshit with an appeal to convene an emergency cabinet meeting and bring in an ordinance to stop the demolition and sealing of illegal structures in the Capital.

They alleged that the Delhi government was not taking necessary steps even after Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh showed interest in resolving the issue.

Mr Sharma said the MLAs asked the Chief Minister to go on an indefinite fast against the demolitions and they were more than willing to join her.

“We asked her to call an emergency meeting of the Cabinet and adopt a resolution against the demolitions. The government must also bring an ordinance to save the people of the Capital from this crisis,” Mr Sharma said.

Sealings: SC turns down lawyers’ plea 
New Delhi, April 13
The Supreme Court today refused to grant any relief to lawyers operating their offices in residential areas of the Capital. 

A Division Bench of Chief Justice Y K Sabharwal, Justice C K Thakker and Justice D K Jain took objection to the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) approaching it in the matter. “How can the Bar Association approach us on behalf of all the lawyers?” the Bench asked.

The court made it clear that the cases of lawyers, chartered accountants and doctors running offices in residential areas would be decided on a “case-to-case” basis.

The court said it could be understood if a lawyer was running his/her office in the basement or ground floor of his/her residence, but there were cases where the whole of the building was being used as an office.

On behalf of SCBA, senior counsel Mukul Rohtagi submitted that lawyers’ offices qualified as “professional activities”, and were not covered under “commercial activities”, which has been specifically banned by the apex court order.

Rohtagi said even the Delhi Master Plan permitted professional activities to run in residential areas to a certain extent.

He also said that in the year 2002, the government allowed guest-houses, nursing homes and some other services to be run from residential areas. 

“Things change with change of times. We cannot shut our eyes from the ground realities. We have given extension of 60 days to those who file affidavits to shift their establishments,” the court observed.

Pointing out that even the High Court was seized of the matters relating to lawyers, Rohtagi sought to know if the lawyers could approach the High Court or whether they ought to go to the Monitoring Committee appointed by the apex court.

When the court said “it was upto lawyers to decide”, Rohtagi submitted that he would be prepared with a reply on April 17.

On February 16, the Supreme Court had directed sealing of commercial set-ups operating on 189 residential roads of 80 feet width in the first phase of the sealing drive

Lawyers move HC over sealing of their offices 
Mayor files petition against MCD
New Delhi, April 4
The ongoing sealing drive against unauthorised constructions in the Capital has taken a new dimension with a group of lawyers on Tuesday moving the Delhi High Court challenging the MCD’s move to seal their office properties. 

A Division Bench headed by Justice Vijender Jain has asked the MCD Commissioner to clarify as to under what instructions and orders the civic authorities were sealing the commercial premises of lawyers and posted the matter for further hearing to Wednesday.

Interestingly, the properties sealed include reportedly those of Tasneem Ahmed, daughter of a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court at Safdarjung Enclave and a promiment lawyer Ajay Behl, who owns a posh office premises at South Extension.

With the MCD stepping up the sealing drive against the commercial office structures owned by lawyers in residential areas, scores of lawyers on Tuesday made a “special mention” in the court after the lunch hour seeking a stay against the MCD move.

The lawyers contended that the MCD move to seal their properties was illegal as the High Court had on February 14 specifically ruled that commercial office premises owned by professionals like lawyers and doctors should not be demolished or sealed.

Some of the lawyers complained to the court that the MCD officials were sealing their properties by citing the Supreme Court’s recent order to seal all commercial properties in the Capital.

However, neither the MCD nor the aggrieved lawyers were in a position to clearly interpret the Apex court order on sealing of commercial properties. Following this, Justice Jain asked the MCD counsel Ashok Bhasin to obtain a clarification from the civic chief on the matter and listed the hearing for tomorrow. 

Meanwhile, Delhi Mayor Satbir Singh on Tuesday moved an “intervention” petition in the High Court with a slew of pleas for providing relief to people being affected by the demolitions and sealing drive launched by the MCD against unauthorised constructions.

The Mayor has urged the court to direct the Government to “relax the building bylaws according to the suitability of the needs of the citizens of the city”.

In his petition, Singh wanted the government to keep a close surveillance over unauthorised conversion of agricultural land for commercial and residential use, which according to him was the bane of problems in the Capital.

The Mayor urged the court to direct the government to constitute a separate ‘Planning Department’ for Delhi to suggest relocation of commercial establishments and formulate polices for the planned development of the city. A Division Bench headed by Justice Vijender Jain would take up the Mayor’s petition along with other related issues on Wednesday. 

Meanwhile, anti-sealing and demolition agitation launched by the Delhi Unit of the BJP and traders associations of Delhi has become more intensified as they mobilized thousands of people in Rohini and Jail Road and courted arrest. Scores of people who resisted sealing were arrested in Jail Road and Rohini areas. 

Three BJP leaders, Dr Jagdish Mukhi, Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly, Leader and Deputy Leader of Opposition in MCD, Mr Subhash Arya and Mr Onkar Singh Thapar respectively and BJP councillors Mr Vijender Gupta, Ms Meena Thakur and former Chairman, Standing Committee of the MCD, Mr Prithvi Raj Sahni were arrested. 

A riot like situation was witnessed in Jail Road and Rohini area where police arrested around 20 people. A number of MCD officials and policemen sustained injuries when an unruly mob pelted stones. The mob has also damaged two DTC buses. 

Seeing the situation going out of control the Delhi police has deployed a large number of policemen making the area like military cantonment. Rapid Action Force personnel were also seen there. Onkar Singh Thapra who represent the area led the agitation. He was arrested and lodged in Moti Nagar Police station. When the Opposition leaders of the Delhi Assembly and the MCD received this information, they went to lead the agitating of shop owners in Jail Road area. However, they were also arrested. Vijneder Gupta was taken to police custody in Rohini.

Mr K.J. Rao and General Jhingan, members of monitoring committee today assured opposition leaders in the Delhi Assembly as well as the MCD to help them out if any injustice was done with the shop owners by the sealing team. They will seal the shops notified by the department concerned of the civic body. 

BJP MP from south Delhi Prof. Vijay Kumar Malhotra said that sealing of shops was not solution of the problem. Sealing will be resulted in a large number of unemployment. The parliament should bring an ordinance first to give relief to the shop owners. Later Bill should be passed to legalise the trading in residential areas. 

Taking the benefit of deadline extended by the Supreme Court, a total of 2,461 shop owners filed affidavits to get the relief from sealing even as the MCD’s drive to seal shops continued. Today, 726 shops have been sealed. Spokesman of the MCD said that 51 shops had been sealed in City area, 105 in Civil Lines, 15 in Central district, 145 in Karol Bagh, 48 in Najafgarh, 177 in Rohini, seven in Sadar Paharganj, 15 in Shahadra (North), 53 in Shahadra (South), 74 in South district and 36 in West Delhi.

The agitated traders had broken the seal of 17 shops but they had been resealed.

Sealing drive: SC declines to comment on notification 

New Delhi, March 31
The Supreme Court today refused to issue any clarification regarding the confusion created by the Central Government notification issued on the night of March 28 permitting ‘mixed land use’ in some residential areas of Delhi. 

A bench comprising Chief Justice Y K Sabharwal, Mr Justice C K Thakkar and Mr Justice R V Raveendran made the remarks when MCD Counsel Sanjeev Sen sought clarification from the court about whose orders MCD should follow - whether it should obey the Supreme Court’s order or the DDA notification.

Mr Sen submitted that the notification has created confusion so far as the sealing process in the national Capital is concerned.
The court said “Let the monitoring committee, appointed by this court submit its report. Only then we will give any clarification and we will not give any clarification at this stage”. 

Sealing of commercial establishment operating from residential areas in Delhi started on March 29 as per the Supreme Court order. The Urban Development Ministry brought a notification to permit shops and offices on 118 roads just a day prior to it.

The court had earlier said that “Sealing will not stop without the permission of this court. Let them bring
the law, we will examine its validity”. 

The court has also said that sealing process will go on notwithstanding any order passed by any court in Delhi.

The court had however granted time till June 30 to those who gave an affidavit of undertaking to the MCD by March 28, assuring that they would stop the misuse by that date.

Filing of false affidavit shall be treated as perjury and shall also render the person concerned liable for prosecution for the contempt of the apex court. An undertaking was also to be given to the effect that no father extension would be sought on any ground.

A sealing process in relation to those who have filed affidavit was to go on as per schedule.

The monitoring committee overseeing the sealing process comprises Bhure Lal and former Election Commission Observer K J Rao. 

Meanwhile, in a significant development, MCD today passed a resolution to include 229 additional roads in the list of residential areas where commercial activities will be permitted. The roads were identified in a survey conducted in 2001. 

The resolution passed by the MCD Standing Committee seeks inclusion of the roads in the ‘mixed-land use’ category, a demand strongly raised by the trading community and opposed by Residents’ Welfare Associations.

The roads were identified by the MCD last year after the Supreme Court had directed it to prepare a list of roads in residential areas which is above 60 feet wide and has more than 50 per cent of commercialisation.

Significantly, the notification issued by the Union Urban Development Ministry earlier this week had allowed commercial activities in 41 out of the 229 roads identified by the civic body.

“Since the Central notification empowers the MCD to notify roads, we have decided to notify 229 roads that were identified as per our 2005 survey where mixed land use would be permitted to give reprieve to residents of Delhi,” Leader of the House Jitender Kochar said moving the resolution.

However, opposition BJP termed the exercise “politically motivated” and demanded resignation of Chief Minister Ms Sheila Dikshit, Union Minister of State for Urban Development Mr Ajay Maken and Mayor Mr Satbir Singh on charges of “irresponsible behaviour”.

“The Supreme Court had given its order on February 16. Why wasn’t this time used to save the people of Delhi from such harassment and misery? Common man still doesn’t know what are the norms for mixed land use and provisions for which essential services are permitted in residential areas,” BJP Councillor Mr Vijender Gupta said.

Criticising the Dikshit government and the MCD, he said there was no relevance of passing such a resolution as it was shorn of any legal sanctity.

He also questioned the absence of MCD Commissioner Mr A K Nigam during the meeting and flayed the Standing Committee’s decision to cancel a special meeting of the MCD House scheduled for today.

Bailable warrant issued against Delhi MCD chief

New Delhi, March 30: The Delhi High Court on Thursday issued a bailable warrant against MCD Commissioner A K Nigam for ‘misleading’ it on certain demolitions carried out by the civic authorities in the capital. 

The warrant was issued by Justice Pradip Nandrajog who sought Nigam's presence in the court on April 18. 

MCD begins sealing shops in residential areas
New Delhi, March 29
Acting on a Supreme Court order, the MCD today began sealing of commercial establishments in residential areas in the Capital whose owners have failed to give a requisite undertaking amidst stiff opposition from the trading community. 

With the deadline set by the apex court for filing of affidavits by those who are running illegal shops and other commercial establishments in residential areas expiring yesterday, the civic body started sealing such premises in all the 12 zones barring Narela under tight police security.

The MCD had till yesterday received 1,677 affidavits from shop owners.

The action comes a day after the Union Urban Development Ministry issued a notification allowing mixed land use on 118 roads of Delhi in an attempt to “provide relief to small traders”.