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Jun 20, 2007 at 05:16pm IST

SC stays order for forced sealing

New Delhi: In a big relief to thousands of traders, the Supreme Court on Monday indefinitely stayed its order for forced closure of commercial establishments in residential premises, saying the legality of the new master plan for the capital has to be examined first.

A three-judge bench of Justice Arijit Pasayat, Justice C K Thakker and Justice R V Raveendran stopped the apex court-enforced sealing operation, pending examination by the court of the legality and constitutionality of the Master Plan Delhi-2021, which allows commercial and mixed land use on 2,183 roads affected by the sealing drive.

After hearing Solicitor General G E Vahanvati, amicus curiae Ranjit Kumar and others, the bench stayed its order and posted all the matters relating to sealing operations for final hearing April 10, clarifying that no sealing would take place till disposal of all the matter by it.

NO FORCE: The Supreme Court stayed its order for forced closure of commercial establishments in Delhi.

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), in its application, pleaded for deferring the sealing operations along the roads already notified for commercial use under the September 7 and 15, 2006 notifications.

As the government issued the notification to protect traders from the sealing, the court took them up to examine their legality and asked traders to file affidavits averring that they would stop commercial activity if notifications and the subsequent Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Act were found illegal by the court.

The municipal body submitted that nearly 2,183 roads which were provided protection under the Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Act 2006 notifications, had also been included in the new master plan for Delhi, which provides for commercial and mixed land use.

The new master plan was challenged Friday by Delhi Pradesh Citizens' Council, which has contended that it seeks to negate the earlier supreme court directions on sealing.

It contended that the new master plan, instead of developing Delhi as a world- class city by 2010, would ruin the quality of life of the residents.