Delhi High Court: Expect decision on regularisation policy by March 25

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court today said it expected the Centre to finalise policy on regularisation of unauthorised constructions in the city by March 25.

The court, which was hearing an NGO’s PIL against illegal constructions in Sainik Farms in south Delhi, also appeared unimpressed with the government’s step to protect unauthorised constructions up to June 1, 2014 with an amendment in the National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions), saying it is “legalising what has been illegal”.

“What was illegal in previous Act, has become legal in new one (amended Act). Your (Centre) government is legalising what has been illegal,” a bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva said, while adding, “somebody should challenge it”.

The bench also observed that if status quo has to be maintained with respect to such properties, then it also means no further unauthorised construction should take place.

It, however, said that it will interpret the amendment later.

The bench made the observations after the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), represented by advocate Ajay Arora, informed the court that as per the amended law, all unauthorised constructions up to June 1, last year, are protected from punitive action.

Under the earlier law, only unauthorised constructions up to February 8, 2007 were protected, SDMC said.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain also submitted before the court that the issue of framing a policy for regularisation of unauthorised constructions is under consideration and will take more time.

“By next date of hearing, we expect a decision (on making a policy) would have been taken by government,” the court said while listing the matter for further hearing on March 25.

The National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Amendment Bill, 2014 passed by the Lok Sabha recently has extended the validity of the National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second Act, 2011 up to December 31, 2017 from December 31, 2014.

It has also protected from punitive action “unauthorised colonies, village abadi areas (including urban villages) and their extensions, as existed on the 31st day of March 2002, and where construction took place even beyond date and up to June 1, 2014.”

The court had earlier expressed hope that by January 31, 2015, a policy for fixing the penalty, regularisation charges, cost of land etc to be recovered from the residents of unauthorised colonies, especially Sainik Farms, would be adopted by the Centre after having consultations with all stakeholders.

The High Court today also directed Delhi government to positively submit within four weeks the report earlier called for by the court on December 24, 2014 regarding placing on record images of Sainik Farms from February 2007 till date along with status of unauthorised constructions there.

The NGO, in its plea, has contended that over 500 fresh illegal constructions having huge structures have come up in the area and thousands of tonnes of building material are being taken there despite the court’s 2007 order prohibiting the same.

Source: Economic Times
Dated: 5th February 2015

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