In a petition by Common Cause, Supreme Court in another landmark order directed that RTI fees should not exceed ₹50 per application and ₹5 for photocopying of documents.Read More+
That in reality, the Government, through the Learned Solicitor General is putting "his foot in the door" to ensure that after the period of sealing or re-sealing of activities that are in violation of the Bye-laws and Regulations, etc. a position may be reached of status quo ante and further that the Government may be able to proceed with the finalization of the Master Plan 2021 facilitating commercialization of the entire Delhi urban area. This would be apparent from the mixed land use proposal in the Public Notice dt. 21.07.06 which provides for application of the highly relaxed rules to the entire city and the statements made by Ministers and officials as reported in the media that the liberal mixed use regulations shall be changed before the re-sealing drive restarts in September.
That in the face of the orders dated 16.2.2006, and various other directions for demolition of unauthorized and illegal constructions, encroachments on public land, and widespread commercialization of residential areas, issued by this Hon'ble Court and the Hon'ble Delhi High Court, frenetic activity has been shown by the Government to prevent large-scale ongoing demolitions of unauthorized and illegal constructions, enact the impugned law in a great hurry preceded by the appointment of the so-called Expert Committee under Mr. Tejender Khanna, and also take action on the Report of that Committee without its proper publication or public debate, or even the submission of an Action Taken Report in Parliament.
That in the process, certain concessions given by the Court have been overtaken by notifications following one upon another in the name of complying with the recommendations of the Tejender Khanna Committee. The latest such substantive notification appears to be the Public Notice dated 21st July, 2006 proposing to bring about fairly drastic changes in the governing principles for mixed land use i.e. non-residential activity in residential premises, inviting objections and suggestions within 30 days of the issue of the Notice. It is characteristic of the series of steps taken by the Government of India that the abovesaid Notice has been issued under the provisions of Master Plan-2001 that was already declared as out-dated earlier by the Government.
That the Applicant submits that in considering the various writ petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the impugned Act, only certain interim directions may be issued by this Hon'ble Court to give relief to the extent considered feasible on the recommendations of the Monitoring Committee within the existing parameters and not give any consideration to the mixed land use Notice referred to above and the various other recommendations of the Tejender Khanna Committee. The latter, it is submitted, deserve a full public debate and consultation with experts of repute before the parameters of land-use and construction bye-laws can be prescribed by the Government so as to secure the much touted "no tolerance" regime. In the interim orders envisaged in this Hon'ble Court's order dated 01.08.2006, the applicant submits that the following steps already underway according to the orders of this Hon'ble Court and the Hon'ble Delhi High Court and supervised by the Commissioners appointed for the purpose of ensuring compliance, may be maintained in the interest of the laws, bye-laws, regulations etc of the MCD, DDA, the Ministry of Urban Development and other authorities:
Encroachments on government/public land as well as unauthorized and illegal constructions etc. should be demolished, i.e. razed to the ground, in a well-conducted continuing process, in accordance with the orders of the Hon'ble Delhi High Court and under supervision of the Commissioners appointed by it. If the MCD/DDA find their resources for complying with this requirement in reasonable time insufficient, they may consider engaging competent private engineering entities to supplement these activities, so that the tempo of demolitions can be maintained. Clearly there is no rationale or reason whatsoever for holding back on action against encroachments on government/public land or against illegal constructions etc. that have continued for this day in defiance of the Hon'ble Courts' Orders issued from time to time.