Diagnostic centre draws court's ire

SC directs closure of unit run in residential area

The Supreme Court has castigated municipal and pollution authorities of Delhi for “abdicating”  statutory duties by allowing a diagnostic centre to run in a residential area, much to the chagrin of the people.

A bench of Justices V Gopala Gowda and C Nagappan directed Dr Navin and Manju Dang, owners of Dr Dang’s Diagnostic Centre to close down its facility being run at south Delhi’s posh Hauz Khas locality since 1995 within four weeks.

The court said, “The running of this large pathological lab has led to emission of hazardous substances and in that process human beings, plants, micro organisms, and other living creatures are being exposed to harmful physico-chemical properties.”

Noting “blatant violation” of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi’s building by-laws and the Master Plan and the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1986, the bench concurred with plea of residents that using large generator sets, heavy medical equipments, gas cylinders, electric panels and air conditioners had caused cracks in the building.

Parking problem was also created with large number of patients visiting the centre.
The MCD and Delhi Pollution Control Committee came in for sharp criticism by the apex court, which said that they not only allowed the “illegal and unlawful” centre to run since 1995 but even went on to grant regularisation certificate with retrospective effect after the residents approached the Delhi High Court and lodged complaints about it.

“The conduct of the MCD and DPCC for their inaction is highly deplorable as they have miserably failed to discharge statutory duties on account of which there has been a blatant violation of the rule of law, and thereby a large number of residents of the locality are suffering,” the bench said.

Co-resident Anirudh Kumar approached the apex court contending that it has become completely impossible for him to live on the second floor of the premises and due to the sound and air pollution caused by the centre. This also affected other neighbouring residents of the locality, he claimed.

Ordering the authorities to seal the premises if not closed down within four weeks and file a compliance report, the court rejected a plea by the centre’s owners that they were allowed to carry on their activity under the MPD 2021 and the National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second Act, 2011.

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