A Delhi High Court bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Ashutosh Kumar, on February 22, 2017, gave the centre four weeks to take a decision on the AAP government’s proposal to regularise unauthorised colonies, including the posh Sainik Farms, in the national capital.
The court did not agree with the Centre’s stand that a total station method (TSM) survey of all unauthorised colonies in Delhi was required, before a decision could be taken.
The bench said that the TSM survey was only required for demarcation and agreed with the Delhi government that such an exercise was time-consuming and it may not be possible to complete it for years to come. The court was hearing a PIL filed by NGO Paardarshita and some individuals, alleging illegal construction in Sainik Farms. The matter was listed for further hearing on April 26.
Meanwhile, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) placed before the court in a sealed cover, a list of its officials who were on duty in Sainik Farms area from 2001 onwards and who have been prima facie found to be delinquent. Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain, appearing for the SDMC, assured the court that within four weeks, a list of action taken against these delinquent officials and a status report, would be placed before the bench.
On the last date of hearing, the bench had stopped short of ordering a CBI probe into unauthorised construction in Sainik Farms after the ASG had said the corporation would give the names of its ‘delinquent officials’. During the hearing on February 22, the central government’s standing counsel Anurag Ahluwalia, told the court that the centre had in September 2016, made some queries to the Delhi government with regard to the proposal for regularisation but has not yet received any information. To this, senior standing counsel for Delhi government Rahul Mehra, said the centre has sought details of TSM survey of over 1,000 unauthorised colonies in the city and sought directions from the court to expedite the process.
The court, on coming to know of the details sought by the centre, said it was not possible to carry out such an exercise. It also asked the centre what was the requirement for such a survey, when the union government only had to take an in-principle decision. Ahluwalia said the detail was sought, as the proposal was for regularisation of all unauthorised colonies in Delhi.