The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Kapilís promise in court unlocks Romi property

New Delhi, May 9: Delhi High Court today ordered de-sealing of the posh south Delhi property belonging to Kapil Devís wife Romi after the former Indian cricket captain appeared in court and gave an undertaking to use it only for residential purposes.

The property ' located at B-41, Greater Kailash-I ' was sealed last week on the high courtís order for alleged violation of building laws and misuse of residential property for commercial purpose.

While passing the order last Thursday, the court took into account an affidavit by Delhi municipal corporation executive engineer (building), south zone, R.B.S. Bansal that Romi, the proprietor of the boutique This N That, had occupied the property without getting the completion or occupancy certificate.

Kapilís counsel Sanjeev Sabharwal contended that he was using the premises as a residence-cum-personal office and not for commercial purposes. Asked if he would give an undertaking, Kapil told the court: 'Whatever is the law, I will abide by it.'

After he agreed to give an undertaking to the court, Justice Pradeep Nandrajog, who had asked Kapil to be present, during the hearing last Friday, ordered de-sealing of the premises and directed the civic body to carry out the order latest by tomorrow morning.

The case is part of a public interest litigation filed by the Residentsí Welfare Association of M-Block, Greater Kailash-I. The petition seeks directives to the municipal corporation to take action against alleged unauthorised constructions and misuse of residential premises for commercial use.

The cricketer had told reporters last week that he was 'unaware of the legal nitty-gritty'. He maintained that he had bought the house about six months ago and was using it as an office-cum-residence.

Kapil also denied that the boutique belonging to his wife was a commercial venture. 'She has an interest in this, it is something that she does as a hobby. It is not a commercial venture,' he said.

According to Ashok Bhasin, counsel for the municipal corporation, the court had last December directed the civic body and police to ensure that 16 properties at Greater Kailash-I were not occupied or put to use till officials certified that the construction was 'in conformity with the sanctioned building plan'.

Taking further steps against alleged unauthorised constructions and rampant misuse of residential premises for commercial use in Greater Kailash-I, the high court had also appointed advocates Sanjay Jain and Neelima Tripathi local commissioners. It has asked them to conduct a survey of the main road of the colony and file a report.

On the basis of a report prepared by Jain and Tripathi, the court also asked the municipal corporation to explain why it did not seal the A-1 Chirag Enclave, where the first, second and third floors as well as the basement were being used for commercial purposes.

The court has asked the civic body to produce the original files pertaining to the entire building.

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