Delhi sealing drive won't stop, says SC; asks Centre to act against those guilty of unauthorised construction

The Centre told the SC that it had not given any instructions to authorities in Delhi to stop their sealing drive against illegal constructions.

Delhi sealing drive won't stop, says SC; asks Centre to act against those guilty of unauthorised construction

NEW DELHI: In view of the sealing drive in Delhi, the Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Centre to contemplate blacklisting of builders, contractors and architects found responsible for unauthorised constructions. The apex court said that there would be "no stopping of sealing or demolition" and instead noted that the process should be expedited. 

The direction comes after the Centre told a bench comprising Justices MB Lokur and Deepak Gupta that it had not given any instructions to authorities in Delhi to stop their sealing drive against illegal constructions. It also directed construction activity to be stopped with immediate effect wherever any unauthorised construction is noticed or booked by authorities.

The court said that adequate police protection should be given to officials when they are carrying out a sealing drive against unauthorised constructions. It added that owners of unauthorised properties will be given a notice of 48 hours. 

Attorney General KK Venugopal told the bench that the Delhi Development Authority had launched a mobile application on July 9 where citizens can complain about illegal constructions and encroachments in the city. So far, 431 complaints have been received in the mobile application and action taken on 138 such complaints, he said.

The bench directed that adequate publicity be given to the mobile application so citizens of Delhi are aware of it. 

The top court is dealing with the issue of validity of the Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Act, 2006 and subsequent legislations which protect unauthorised constructions from being sealed. 

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