M A I N   N E W S

Carry on sealing: SC
Tough to implement: MCD
S.S. Negi
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, November 2
Traders agitating against the sealing of illegal shops in residential areas here, ordered by the Supreme Court, did not get immediate relief from the court today as applications of the Centre and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) for halting it could not be taken up for hearing.

In view of no relief, the government said the MCD would approach it again tomorrow as it was difficult to carry on the sealing drive in the present circumstances.

This was stated by Urban Development Minister S. Jaipal Reddy while talking to mediapersons after the meeting of Group of Ministers (GoM), headed by Home Minister Shivraj Patil, which had been handling the issue.

Confusion prevailed as the court-appointed monitoring committee (MC), overseeing the MCD’s sealing drive, decided during a meeting to go ahead with it, said leader of the house in the MCD Jitender Kocchar.

Mr Reddy was non-committal on whether the sealing drive would be resumed from tomorrow or not. He simply said, “You can draw your own inference from what I have said”.

He acknowledged that the MC had written to the MCD regarding resuming the sealing drive from tomorrow.

The MC had sought additional reinforcement from the Delhi police to maintain law and order during the sealing drive as it apprehended protests by traders.

Though they suspended their agitation today, they had threatened to resume it if the sealing drive was resumed.

The Police Commissioner had expressed his inability to provide additional force due to shortage of manpower and sent a request to the GoM for additional force.

The Delhi Government, which had been bearing the brunt of traders’ ire on the sealing drive and not approached the court so far, today marked its presence, with its counsel V.P. Singh pleading for a halt to the drive for the time being.

A Bench headed by Mr Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, before which the matter was mentioned, said since the case was being heard by the Chief Justice’s Bench, the matter could be mentioned only before it.

As Additional Solicitor-General Amarendra Sharan made a request for at least listing of the matter for Monday, the court agreed, but said it would be subject to the constitution Bench concluding its hearing on the 9th Schedule issue.

When Mr Sharan said the government be allowed to use administrative discretion, Mr Justice Balakrishnan merely said “sorry... we do not know what is your discretion”.

When MCD counsel A.M. Singhvi, in a last-minute attempt, sought permission to mention the matter before the Chief Justice at his chamber during the lunch break, the court declined such an audience to the counsel when the court was functioning in a routine manner.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |