Oral request of the Attorney General rejected by the SC for modification of order regarding the amendments of the Delhi Development Act, 1957

M.C. Mehta V. Union of India & Ors.

WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 4677 OF 1985

DECIDED ON 24/05/2018

A two-judge bench of the Apex Court, headed by Justices Madan B. Lokur and Navin Sinha, rejected the oral request of the learned Attorney General to modify the order dated 15th May, 2018.

Facts of the case are that the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) proposes to amend the Master Plan for Delhi. Section 11A of the Delhi Development Act, 1957 provides for such an eventuality. For reasons that were not very clear, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs issued a notification on 31st January, 2018 reducing the period for inviting suggestions and objections by any person from a period of 90 days to a period of 3 days and the period of 45 days to a period of 3 days for local authorities to raise objections. This was achieved by inserting a proviso in Clause (b) of Rule 5 of the Rules for which public notices were issued inviting objections and suggestions from the public. But on public demand these 3 days were extended for another 2days.  All the 741 suggestions and objections were considered by the Board of Enquiry and made recommendations for specific modifications in the proposals which were approved by the authority and forwarded by the Authority to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs of the Government of India for approval and final notification under Section 11A of the Delhi Development Act, 1957. The Supreme Court passed an interim order staying further progress in the amendments to the Master Plan. Thereafter, the Delhi Development Authority moved an application for vacating the interim order and it was in that context that the order on 15th May, 2018 was passed, of which the learned Attorney General seeks a modification, which says that

“The Central Government will first invite objections from the people which can be submitted within 15 days of the notification inviting objections. After that period of 15 days is over, the Central Government will meaningfully consider and address the objections and make necessary modification, as deemed appropriate. The amendments may then be notified. The final decision of the Central Government should be taken keeping the interest of the people of Delhi and future generations in mind as well as the statutory requirements. The final decision should be placed on record.”

The Supreme Court rejected the oral request of the learned Attorney General to modify the order dated 15th May, 2018 and directed the Central Government to expeditiously implement the order dated 15th May, 2018 in letter and spirit keeping the interest of the public of Delhi in mind.

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