Delhi court dismisses plea seeking quashing of sealing order, showcause notice issued by NDMC against use of industrial plot for commercial purpose
A local court in Delhi has dismissed a petition seeking quashing of the sealing order and the showcause notice issued by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation on the grounds that the petitioner was allotted a plot for industrial use, but he used it for commercial purpose, therefore, misusing the same.
The order was passed recently by Additional and Sessions Judge-cum-Presiding Officer at Appellate Tribunal, MCD Delhi, Pitamber Dutt.
The Judge ruled that as per Clause II (13) of the said perpetual lease deed, the permissible use of the said plot was industrial. However, the appellant used the plot in question for commercial purpose.
As per the trial court, the Quasi Judicial Authority had considered all aspects and passed the sealing order on March 15, 2022, holding that industrial unit/plots can be put to commercial use within the existing development control norms subject to payment of conversion charges and all other requisite charges (as applicable) computed as per MPD-2021 and as per the government notifications.
It noted that the formula for calculating the conversion charges was mentioned in the sealing order, which had been passed in accordance with law.
The Judge dismissed the petition seeking quashing of the sealing order as well as the showcause notice of December 22, 2021 on the grounds that there was no legal infirmity in the same.
However, the trial court granted the petitioner 10 days time to deposit the requisite conversion charges and other requisite charges in terms of sealing order, so as to continue using the plot for commercial purpose.
Appearing for the petitioner, Advocate Gagan Gandhi contended that the petitioner has been running a furniture store in the name and style of M/s Polo Singh & Co at Plot no 87 in Furniture Block of Kirti Nagar.
He said the furniture market was developed and designed by the Delhi Development Authority after the relocation scheme of DDA as per the Master Plan 1962, pursuant to which plots were allotted to traders involved in the business of wooden furniture and perpetual lease deed was executed by DDA in this regard.
Advocate Gandhi said the NDMC issued a showcause notice under Sections 345A and 347 of the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, 1957 to the petitioner on December 22, 2021 and directed him to stop the misuse and bring the premises within the permitted use as per Master Plan-2021 within 48 hours. He was further directed to showcause as to why the premises should not be sealed for misuse.
The Counsel said the petitioner filed a reply on December 24, 2021, however, the Quasi Judicial Authority passed a sealing order on January 20, 2022 and sealed the petitioner’s premises on January 20, 2022.
As per Advocate Gandhi, the Furniture Block Market Association filed a writ petition before the High Court seeking quashing of the showcause notice of December 22, 2021 and sealing order of January 20, 2022.
On January 25 last year, the High Court directed the respondent to deseal the property in question and give fresh hearing to the petitioner, noted the Counsel.
He said the petitioner filed a representation with DDA seeking clarification qua the permitted land use of the property in question, but the same was neither replied by the DDA nor by the respondent.
The petitioner further said that on March 17, 2022, they received an order dated March 15, 2022, directing them to pay the conversion and parking charges within three days of the receipt of the said order, failing which the premises would be sealed again.
Advocate Gandhi contended that the sealing order of March 15, 2022 and the showcause notice dated January 22, 2021 were untenable in law as the premises was being used in accordance with the perpetual lease deed executed between the appellant and the DDA.
He further averred that the sealing order and the showcause notice were non-speaking and vague qua the misuse of the property and the amount of misuse charges, therefore, the same was liable to be quashed.
On January 13, 2012, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi was trifurcated into North Delhi Municipal Corporation, South Delhi Municipal Corporation and the East Delhi Municipal Corporation for better delivery and governance. However, the civic body was reunified on May 22 last year.
(Case title: Polo Singh & Co vs North Delhi Municipal Corporation)