C'wealth Games reeks of corruption: SC

C'wealth Games reeks of corruption: SC

The rot: Payments made for work not done; Rs 70,000 crore involved

C'wealth Games reeks of corruption: SC

“In this country, payments are made without work being done. Newly constructed foot over-bridge (near Jawaharlal Nehru stadium) collapsed like a pack of cards. Rs 70,000 crore is involved in organising the Games,” a bench of Justices G A Singhvi and A K Ganguly observed.

Pulling both the Centre and the Delhi government, Justice Singhvi said, “There is rampant corruption in the country. We cannot shut our eyes. Till October 15, Commonwealth Games property is for public purpose. Thereafter, everything will be for private use.”
The judges were hearing an appeal on a 2006 Delhi High Court order over violation of law to preserve the historic Jantar Mantar monument in the Capital.

A part of an New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) building on Parliament Street falls within 100 metres of the monument violating the law that prevents any construction in the vicinity. The construction has been objected to by the Archeological Survey of India (ASI), which has also pointed out that other buildings have also been allowed to come up far too close to Jantar Mantar built by Raja Jai Singh.

“How mindless and lawless are you? You have no regard for history, no regard for constitution. There is a totally unethical government with no moral values.

 Money is the only thing that matters. Why don’t you convert Jantar Mantar into a hotel or a mall and India will shine?” the bench asked the NDMC advocate.

Justice Singhvi had earlier chided the government for neglecting India Gate—Delhi’s famous landmark—but decking up the Capital for the Games. “India Gate is a high-security zone but look at the mess there. There are so many hawkers crowding the place that it becomes impossible for people to walk. The place is so dirty that you cannot walk there without stepping on filth,” the bench said. Once hawking zones and silent zones have been earmarked, it was for the civic body to see that people followed rules, the court said.

The apex court could not afford to waste time hearing applications on hawking zones since it could not give directions to civic bodies in the matter, it added.

“We do not have the time. We would rather hear cases on death sentences or divorces,” the court said.

People living on pavements, too, had a right to livelihood, the judges said, referring to lawsuits filed in 1987 giving hawkers the right to sell their products.

“Your entire system is rotten,” the judges told the counsel for civic bodies. “When the government doesn’t implement its schemes, people are forced to squat. So, in a way, an illegal act is legalised by the government,” they added.

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