News Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com
Sealing relief for houses in Delhi not used for commercial purpose | Delhi News - Times of India
News Source/Courtesy: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

NEW DELHI: In a major relief to owners of residential premises in Delhi, who are facing threat of sealing and demolition for unauthorised construction, the Supreme Court on Friday ruled that the court-appointed monitoring committee is not empowered to take action against them and exempted these residences from the sealing drive.
Clipping the wings of the monitoring committee, which was appointed by the apex court in 2006 and has been undertaking a sealing drive against unauthorised construction apart from action against misuse of residential premises for commercial purpose and encroachment of public land, a bench of Justices Arun Mishra, B R Gavai and Krishna Murari said it never had the power to act against residential premises.
Granting relief to owners of farmhouses and residential buildings in south Delhi, against whom action was taken by the committee in 2019, the bench directed the premises be de-sealed and possession restored to owners forthwith. The bench said the committee exceeded its powers by sealing such premises.
Referring to various orders passed by the apex court and reports submitted by the monitoring committee, the bench said the committee’s powers were restricted to sealing residential premises which were misused for commercial purposes. The court said jurisdiction of the committee was further expanded by allowing it to remove encroachment on public land.
The court held that the committee was not authorised to take action against residential premises that were not being used for commercial purposes. "...this court directed that the Monitoring Committee should also look into the matter of encroachment on the public land and unauthorised colonies that have come up on public land and were wholly unauthorised without sanction. At no point in time, this court had empowered the Committee to act vis-à-vis purely residential premises," the court said.
The court agreed with the submission of senior advocates Mukul Rohatgi, Siddharth Luthra, Nalin Kohli and others, appearing for the owners, that the committee was constituted by the apex court only to stop misuse of residential premises for commercial purposes.
"The power of sealing of property carries civil consequences. A person can be deprived of the property by following a procedure in accordance with law...If there is unauthorised construction or in case of deviation, the requisite provisions are under the DMC (Delhi Municipal Corporation) Act," it said.
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News Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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