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‘Not a Good State of Affairs’: SC Unhappy with ‘Fight’ between Monitoring Committee and STF over Sealing in Delhi

The Supreme Court bench also observed that authorities are fighting over the administration of Delhi and there was no coordination among them.


Updated:October 4, 2019, 6:13 PM IST
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New Delhi: Expressing displeasure over "fight" between the monitoring committee on sealing of unauthorised structures in Delhi and a special task force (STF), set up to oversee enforcement of laws on illegal construction and removal of encroachments, the Supreme Court Friday said it is "not a good state of affairs".

The two committees are "obstructing" each other and it cannot permit things to go on like this, the apex court said.

"We are telling you frankly that this is not a good state of affairs. It should not be like this. It is not a good situation," a bench of justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta said.

"The two committees are fighting and obstructing each other," the bench said, adding, "We cannot permit things to go on like this. We are most unhappy".

The bench also observed that authorities are fighting over the administration of Delhi and there was no coordination among them.

The Centre, in its earlier response to a report filed by the monitoring committee, had sought scrapping of the panel itself.

It took this stand stating that the STF is already working and the court-mandated monitoring committee should not continue anymore.

The monitoring committee, in its report filed earlier in the apex court, had said, "All the actions of the STF depict that the STF has completely failed to deliver what was expected of it as there are heavy encroachments on pedestrian pathways, roads in addition to large scale illegal construction going on unabated."

The committee, in its report, had requested the court to "review the continuation of the STF which is adversely affecting the sealing operations by the monitoring committee".

The top court is seized of the issue related to validity of the Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Act, 2006 and subsequent legislations which protect unauthorised construction from being sealed.

The monitoring committee, comprising K J Rao, former advisor to the Election Commissioner; Bhure Lal, chairman of Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority; and Major General (Retd) S P Jhingon, was set up on March 24, 2006, by the top court.

A STF was constituted last year following the top court's order to oversee enforcement of laws on illegal constructions and removal of encroachments in the national capital.

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