Tuesday, May 17, 2011

SC steps in, CG Road to be sealed again

AHMEDABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the Gujarat high court's order to remove seals from shops and commercial complexes across the city, including CG Road.

Staying the high court's order for removing seals from illegal constructions, a division bench in the Apex court sought explanations from various authorities, including chief secretary, urban development secretary, commissioners of all municipal corporations in Gujarat and chief officer of Mehsana Municipality. They have been asked to submit their reply within eight weeks, and till then there would be no regularisation of illegal constructions in Gujarat.

The high court, on May 9, directed the civic body to stop its sealing drive and open seals on assurance by property owners that they would comply with all conditions of the proposed Gujarat Regularisation of Unauthorised Development Bill, 2011, which is waiting for the governor's assent for enactment.

Original petitioner of PIL Shivlal Purohit, through advocate Amit Panchal, challenged the high court's order before the SC. Advocate Panchal contended that the high court's order permitting the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation to open seals would amount to judicial indiscipline, for co-ordinated benches had earlier directed for implementation of laws.

It was also contended before the SC that the high court could not have passed any order to remove seals from unauthorised constructions in anticipation that the regularisation bill would get the governor's nod to become law in near future. The Apex court was also apprised of the fact that similar legislation was brought into effect for regularisation of illegal construction in Gujarat in 2001, but was withdrawn in 2003 with contention on part of the state government that it was a one-time proposition. The government therefore should not to have brought the regularisation bill once again to allow the illegality to continue, the petition claims.

After preliminary hearing, a division bench of justice G S Singhvi and justice C K Prasad stayed the high court's order.

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