Supreme Court orders resumption of sealing drive in New Delhi

Monday, November 6, 2006

The Indian Supreme Court has refused to grant any relief to the owners of unauthorised commercial establishments in New Delhi. A two judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Y K Sabharwal, said today that it found no grounds for modifying its previous order to seal commercial establishments violating zoning regulations.

The Group of ministers had previously decided not to resume the sealing drive. The Delhi state government and the central government had filed an application to review the order on November 3, 2006 because of fear of violence in the city if the sealing would be resumed. But Supreme Court denied their request and ordered to resume the sealing drive.

The apex court added that the government is not powerless to control the situation. According to article 141 and 144 of the constitution, authorities should follow the court's order.

The court ordered the MCD to use police force, if required, to carry out the process. The MCD has decided to meet in the afternoon to discuss the consequences of the Supreme Court verdict.

On the other hand, traders are very unhappy with the court order. Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary General of the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), said that the traders were expecting the apex court to take a humanitarian decision. He added that if the sealing drive is not stopped traders would start a non-cooperation movement, a nationwide strike against the government.