New Delhi, June 30, A stay order by the Delhi High Court against demolition of
an "illegal" encroachment by a police official on a south Delhi road
has left a 72-year-old resident of the area in the lurch.
So much so, even the Central Information Commission (CIC) found the
stay, issued five years ago, a roadblock to deliver justice to
septuagenarian M K Gupta.
The MCD has not knocked down policeman Jaipal's "unauthorised"
structure, located on a 30 feet wide public road at Humayunpur
village, due to the High Court stay.
This, despite the civic body's assurance in a written admission in a
reply on August 7, 2007 to Gupta's RTI application that
the "encroachment will be removed in August 2007 with the help of
local police force from Sarojini Nagar Police Station".
Though the civic body declared in the same reply that "no such
encroachment is allowed by the MCD", its own engineering department
contradicted it: that the December 5, 2003 stay order came in the way
of contemplating demolition of the allegedly illegal property. The
civic officials wrote: "As soon as the stay from the High Court is
vacated, necessary action will be taken."
Aggrieved by MCD's response to his RTI requests, Gupta moved a plea
to Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah: "I pray and
appeal (you) to take prompt and necessary action so that our
legitimate right for the facility of road, which has been purchased
from DDA (by) paying a heavy amount and snatched from us forcefully,
may kindly be got restored to public."
He appealed the Commission to "take pity on the apathy of helpless
and hapless people like me… crying for justice" but are "continuously
unheard by the authorities".
Appearing before the Commission on June 26, MCD Deputy Commissioner
(South Zone) Kiran Dabral said, "Necessary action can be taken only
after a decision (from) the High Court, as the matter is sub judice."
To Gupta's plea that he wanted further information on why the
municipality or the Delhi Development Authority had not till date
moved court to get the stay order removed, the CIC directed the
senior citizen to himself approach the court. "The matter is in
itself sub judice," the Commission held. "He (Gupta) can move the
High Court in the matter, being a party through his property that he
claims is encroached upon. There is no cause of action in this case
for this Commission."