| Ashraf’s brother Kalaam shows bullet marks on a wall near their house in east Delhi. Picture by Ramakant Kushwaha
New Delhi, Sept. 22: The notification allowing mixed land-use in some areas of the capital was a valid legislation under the Delhi Development Act 1957, the Centre said in an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court today.
The urban development ministry, which lodged the affidavit on behalf of the central government, also said the notification, which revised provisions on mixed land use in the Master Plan 2001, was in consonance with the Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Act 2006.
The Centre’s response comes two days after four people died in police firing on mobs protesting the court-ordered sealing drive.
The constitutional validity of the notification has been challenged along with that of the Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Act 2006.
Since both the notification and the Act were framed and enforced after the order on sealing commercial properties in residential areas, petitions had been filed alleging that the two laws were made to circumvent orders passed by the Supreme Court.
Defending the notification, the Centre argued though the matter was pending, the court had not restrained it from revising the Master Plan in accordance with the Delhi Development Act.
The Centre said the modification in the provision on mixed land-use was made after a “systematic and detailed exercise”.
It was not done with the intention of “overriding or overreaching the orders of the court”. The views of various sections of the society had been considered before making the changes, it added.
The government has to ensure a judicious balance between the interests of residents and traders in residential areas, the affidavit said.
“The government has also been guided by the need to augment public and semi-public facilities related to health and education in all parts of the city apart from those in institutional areas/plots,’’ the Centre said. The affidavit is likely to be taken up on Monday.
Among other things, the notification legitimises “professional activities” in 50 per cent of the built-up area in residential premises.