New Delhi, Oct 18 (IANS) The Supreme Court Wednesday extended till Jan 31, 2007 the last date for filing of affidavits by traders in Delhi who operate from residential areas.
A three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Y.K. Sabharwal and judges C.K. Thakker and R.V. Raveendran had on Sep 29 asked the traders, covered by the Sep 7 and 15 notifications permitting them to continue their operations, to give an undertaking before the monitoring committee by Nov 10.
Passing orders on an application filed by the central government seeking modification of the Sep 29 order, the bench, however, said that about 44,000 people who had filed affidavits giving an undertaking to stop the misuse of the premises would not get any relief, unless their premises were covered by the two notifications.
The bench had asked them to stop the misuse by Oct 31. When senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi wanted the court to reconsider the order, the bench said: 'We are not here to review that order. It is a closed chapter.'
Solicitor General G.E. Vahanvati told the bench that the government had approached the court considering the difficulties expressed by over 300,000 traders and others that the time limit for filing affidavits was not sufficient.
When he said the court should dispense with filing of such affidavits, the bench said: 'We want the rule of the law to prevail. There is nothing wrong in filing affidavits.'
The bench, however, granted time till Jan 31, 2007 for filing these.
When Vahanvati said the restraint order on issuing further notification would pose problems, the bench clarified that its Sep 29 order restraining the issuance of any further notification was not in respect of Master Plan for Delhi 2021.
The bench, however, made it clear that any notification intended to give more relief to traders to continue their commercial activities in residential areas had to be issued only after getting permission from the court. The bench directed listing of the case in February 2007.
In its application, the urban development ministry said: 'The provisions of the Master Plan in respect of Mixed Land Use Regulations have been modified by the government by its notifications dated Sep 7 after following the statutory procedure as laid down in the Delhi Development Act.
'The contents of the modified policy are drawn from the recommendations of the Tejendra Khanna Committee of Experts which had considered a large number of representations from the public and met 86 groups of stakeholders before finalising its recommendations.'
The central government said if the court were to ultimately hold that the notifications were illegal, then the premises covered would no longer be protected and they would have to stop the misuse forthwith.