Monday, August 1, 2011

‘Keep status quo on CG Road sealing drive’

Ahmedabad: The Supreme Court on Monday indicated status-quo to be maintained by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) with regards to its massive sealing drive against unauthorized constructions, particularly on CG Road.
The SC earlier stayed the Gujarat high court’s order to the civic body to open seals of those illegal commercial centres, which were ready to give undertaking to follow the law once the regularization bill was enacted. However, the governor has returned the bill.
A PIL was filed through advocate Amit Panchal in 2008 demanding proper implementation of building and traffic laws and all HC orders passed in this regard in the past. The HC set up an inquiry committee asking it to come up with suggestions. Finally when the HC directions were not complied with, the civic body began sealing properties that were in violation of building bylaws. This brought the shopowners to the court, and in May this year, HC ordered AMC to open seals on certain conditions.
However, the original petitioner approached the SC against the HC order. As soon as the SC stayed the HC order and asked the authorities not to regularize any construction till the pendency of the litigation, the civic body stopped opening seals and began issuing notices to shop-owners and buildings with a purpose to apply seal on the property not constructed as per the law. Ultimately, the AMC went on to seal the properties. But during a proceeding on Monday, the SC orally clarified that its interim order was in reference to regularization of unauthorized constructions, and it was not pertaining to sealing. AMC’s counsel assured the court that the civic body will abide by the SC’s interim directions.

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