Decided on August 31,2007

Outdoors Communication Appellant
Pwd And Municipal Corporation Of Delhi Respondents


GITA MITTAL, J. - (1.) THE present case is a unique case where one governmental authority is complaining of an illegality by a statutory authority. Grievance has been made by the Public Works Department (hereinafter PWD) that the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (hereinafter MCD) has entered into a contract which is in violation of the law laid down by the Apex Court in several judgments and now by a Division Bench of this Court as well. Interesting questions of law have arisen for consideration in the present case. It is not only the law laid down by the Apex Court but also statutory provisions which would require to be considered and also the public policy which is involved.
(2.) IT is said that a great city is defined by its history and its people. Delhi is one such city. Known as a city of great resilience, it has been witness to a number of upheavals, battles and natural calamities in its long history, but has always emerged victorious. traveling through Delhi in the 1930s, Robert Byron, a traveller and the author has described Delhi thus: The traveller drives out of Old Delhi, past the Jama Masjid and the Fort.A flat country brown, scrubby and broken - lies on either side. This country has been compared with the Roman Campagna: at every hand, tombs and mosques Mogul times and earlier, weathered to the color of the earth bear witness to former Empires. The road describes a curve and embarks imperceptibly on a gradient. Suddenly, on the right, a escape of towers and dome is lifted from the horizon, sunlit pink and cream dancing against the blue sky, fresh as a cup of milk, grand as Rome. Close at hand the foreground discloses a white arch. The motor turns off the arterial avenue, and skirting the low red base of the gigantic monument, comes to a stop. The traveller heaves a breath. Before his eyes, sloping gently upwards, runs a gravel way of such infinite perspective as to suggest the intervention of a diminishing glass; at whose end, reared above the green tree tops, glitters the seat of government, the seventh Delhi, four square upon an eminence - dome, tower, dome, tower, dome, red, pink, cream, and white washed gold and flashing in the morning sun. The traveller loses a breath, and with it his apprehensions and preconceptions. Here is something not merely worthy, but whose like has never been. With a shiver of impatience he shakes off contemporary standard, and makes ready to evoke those of Greece, of Renaissance, and the Moguls.
(3.) A unique city that has been built and re -built several times. Each time the builders have left their indelible imprint on the city. As a result Delhi has a magnificent architectural legacy, which is an amalgamation of the different cultural, religious and social experiences that the city has witnessed since its birth. From the towering magnificence of the Qutub Minar created by Qutb -al -din -Aibak; to the beautiful simplicity of India Gate,a touching memorial to fallen soldiers; the flowering blooms of the Lodi garden;the masterpiece that is Shah Jahan's Red Fort and the imperial grace of Lutyen's Delhi, all create the beauty that is Delhi, even though we sometimes fail to appreciate it. Tughlaqabad Fort, Humanyun Tomb, Jama Masjid are yet more architectural features which identify the Delhi skyline. Thus a city replete with ancient monuments; which had the highest per capita tree average in the world in the 1970s, whose inhabitants ensured and cared for what they had in heritage. The Lodi Garden is preserved and guarded so zealously, just as some concerned citizens ensured that the Lutyen bungalow zone in Delhi maintains its bungalow status and is not overridden and overcome by the builders' mafia 'developing' only for individual commercial interests. The Delhi which used to be was the Delhi in which roads were not built because there were too many cars; flyovers did not come up because there was too much traffic on the roads which had to be eased. That Delhi which did not see valuable parks and grounds taken over because parking was needed. Lutyens built the Delhi which he planned. Citizens lived to the plan and the plan was not changed because the purpose of the moment required it to be so done. A citizen built his house in the city believing that he is building a residence in a residential area. Little did he realize because some people have violated the law, they will not be taken to task. Besides the law may be changed. Thus, 'houses' are re -worked and renamed as 'shops' and 'residential areas' as 'commercial area' and such an exercise is undertaken only because the house has been put to such a use. Planning policy changes are effected retrospectively, while the city bursts at its seams. Simultaneously, while houses are converted to commercial enterprises; unauthorised colonies spring up on public land and open spaces because housing is in short supply. An interesting paradox comes into existence while the state looks on. While we clamour for decongestion of this beautiful city, simultaneously we put even more pressure on its existing facilities. Water and electricity remain in short supply. The warnings of global warming have deserved scant attention.;

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