M C MEHTA Vs. UNION OF INDIA
LAWS(SC)-2006-9-66
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: DELHI)
Decided on September 29,2006

M.C.MEHTA Appellant
VERSUS
UNION OF INDIA Respondents


Referred Judgements :-

M C MEHTA VS. UNION OF INDIA [REFERRED TO]



Cited Judgements :-

UDIPI RESTURANT VS. DDA [LAWS(DLH)-2013-5-258] [REFERRED TO]
BABU OOMEN THOMAS VS. SATE OF KERALA [LAWS(KER)-2008-10-16] [REFERRED TO]
M.C. MEHTA VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(SC)-2013-4-137] [REFERRED TO]
VIJAY REHAL VS. DELHI DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY [LAWS(DLH)-2011-11-444] [REFERRED TO]
KARUNA SHANKAR SHUKLA & 22 OTHERS VS. STATE OF U.P. & 4 OTHERS [LAWS(ALL)-2017-1-52] [REFERRED TO]
BABU LAL VS. MUKESH KUMAR [LAWS(DLH)-2015-9-608] [REFERRED]
AJIT RAI REHAL VS. MANGAL DASS [LAWS(DLH)-2013-3-256] [REFERRED TO]
M.C. MEHTA VS. UNION OF INDIA & ORS. [LAWS(SC)-2017-12-41] [REFERRED TO]
DR. KAUSHAL KANT MISHRA VS. UNION OF INDIA & ORS [LAWS(DLH)-2018-7-804] [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

Y.K.Sabharwal, CJI. - (1.)THE city of Delhi is an example of a classical case, which, for the last number of years, has been a witness of flagrant violations of municipal laws, town planning laws and norms, master plan and environmental laws. It is borne out from various orders and judgments passed by this court and Delhi High Court, whether in a case of shifting of hazardous and polluting industries or providing cleaner fuel (CNG) or encroachment of public land and streets or massive unauthorized construction and misuser of properties. It is a common knowledge that these illegal activities are also one of the main sources of corruption.
(2.)THE issue of commercial use of residential premises was decided by this Court by judgment dated 16th February, 2006 in M.C. Mehta v. Union of India and Ors. reported in (2006) 3 SCC 399. While reversing a Full Bench decision of Delhi High Court, the stand of Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) was accepted and it was held that the Commissioner of MCD is empowered to exercise power of sealing in case of misuse of any premises. THE judgment also noted certain individual cases as also other residential properties being illegally used for commercial purposes. Besides noting orders passed by this Court, from time to time, in the last so many years which had no effect on the authorities, reference was also made to some of the orders passed by the High Court in last about 15 years. THEre was, however, no implementation. It was also observed that such large scale misuser cannot take place without the connivance of the officers who will have to show as to what effective steps were taken to stop the misuser but the issue of accountability of officers would be taken up after misuser is stopped at least on main roads. THE misuser activities included big furnishing stores, galleries, sale of diamond and gold jewellery, sale of cars etc. While issuing directions for implementation of laws, it was noted that if the entire misuser cannot be stopped, at one point of time because of its extensive nature, a beginning has to be made in a phased manner by first taking sealing action against major violators. THE cases of small shops opened in residential houses for catering day-to-day basic needs were left out for the present.
Thus, the plea of M.C.D. that it has power to seal premises in case of misuser having been accepted, various directions were issued. The directions included giving of wide publicity for stoppage of misuser by the violators on their own and the commencement of sealing process if the misuser is not stopped. The sealing process in a phased manner was to commence on 29th March, 2006.

On 24th March, 2006, considering the prayer of the traders, time to stop misuser was extended upto 30th June, 2006 subject to persons claiming benefit of extended time filing affidavit stating that (i) on or before 30th June, 2006, misuser shall be stopped and no further extension on any ground whatsoever shall be asked for, and (ii) giving an undertaking to the effect that violation of condition of not stopping the misuser by 30th June, 2006 would subject him/her to offence of perjury and contempt of court for violation of the order of the court. It was further directed that premises in respect of which affidavits are not filed the process of sealing shall commence with effect from 29th March, 2006. A Monitoring Committee was also appointed to oversee the implementation of the law, namely, sealing of the offending premises in letter and spirit of the court's directions. However, on 28th March, 2006, a Notification was issued by Delhi Development Authority (DDA) modifying Master Plan insofar as the chapter on mixed use is concerned.

(3.)THE Union of India filed I.A. No.1931, inter alia, praying that the local bodies be directed to complete the exercise of identification of mixed use of roads/streets in residential areas within a period of six months. An order was, therefore, passed on 28th April, 2006 permitting the Government to place detailed facts before the Monitoring Committee to find out if it is possible to give some relief to the traders. It was directed that the Monitoring Committee will examine the facts broadly from prima facie point of view to assist the Court and report if, in its view, some relief in regard to the ongoing sealing can be given in respect of some of the areas temporarily till the exercise as contemplated in the application was complete. THE Monitoring Committee heard all concerned including Secretary of the Urban Development Ministry of Government of India and examined the matter and filed its report on 4th May, 2006. When the Application along with the report of the Monitoring Committee came up for consideration before this Court, the same was withdrawn by the Government of India on 11th May, 2006.
On 12th May, 2006, the Delhi Laws (Special Provision) Bill, 2006 was passed by Lok Sabha; Rajya Sabha passed it on 15th May, 2006 and on receipt of assent of the President on 19th May, 2006, it was notified the same day.

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