L&DO policy encourages wrongdoers: Committee to SC

Pictorial representation. Photo credit: Reuters

The Land and Development Office (L&DO) policy for regularising unauthorised construction and encroachment encourages the "wrongdoers" to further encroach upon government or public land, the monitoring committee on sealing told the Supreme Court on Monday.

The apex court-mandated committee on sealing of unauthorised structures in Delhi said that unauthorised construction and encroachment is in existence since 2002 in Lajpat Nagar area here but L&DO, instead of taking any action against it, waited for the Supreme Court to give directions to take action.

"L&DO has placed on record laid-down procedure for regularisation of the unauthorised construction and encroachment carried out by the owners/occupiers over the years," the committee said in its recent report filed in the top court.

"The policy adopted by the L&DO is nothing but to encourage the wrongdoers to further encroach the government/public land as they are aware that later on, the same will be regularised by the government," the report said.

The matter came up for hearing before a bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta.

Senior advocate Ranjit Kumar, assisting the top court as an amicus curiae in the Delhi sealing matter, told the bench that the committee has filed its reply to the affidavit of the L&DO.

The bench said that it would hear the issue next week.

The report further said that L&DO has taken the plea of protection under the Delhi Laws Special Provision Act (as amended), knowing fully well that the protection is not available to the encroachments.

It said that "blanket protection" cannot be granted to the public at large as each case has to be examined by the field staff with respect to construction, encroachment, and misuse.

The committee requested the court to pass necessary directions to the L&DO and South Delhi Municipal Corporation for taking action against such properties, saying they are not covered under the Delhi Laws Special Provision Act (as amended).

The L&DO had earlier told the bench that it was not obstructing the sealing drive here in any manner.

The submission by L&DO had come after the monitoring committee had filed a report in the top court claiming that L&DO had stalled the sealing drive in Amar Colony area "at the last moment to appease the political leaders".

The committee, in its earlier report regarding non-cooperation of L&DO in carrying out sealing operations in Amar Colony area scheduled from June 25, claimed that L&DO had filed an affidavit in the apex court stating that a complete survey of properties in the area was conducted with the assistance of concerned officers of the municipal corporation.

It said that as per L&DO's affidavit, the areas surveyed are -- Andha Mugla, Motia Khan, Sarai Rohilla and Amar Colony -- and the total number of properties/ tenements in these four areas comes to 2,354.

"In the process of survey, violations in the nature of encroachments, misuse, and unauthorised constructions were noticed and compiled," the had said.

The top court is seized of the issues regarding the validity of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Act, 2006 and subsequent legislations which protect unauthorised constructions from being sealed.

Comments (+)