"Are your officers sleeping during job?" Delhi High Court slams NDMC over construction of building without concrete

  • Shreya Agarwal
  • 10:13 AM, 27 Nov 2021

Expressing strong displeasure over the inaction of North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) in preventing an unauthorized construction of a 5-storey building with no concrete, the Delhi High Court asked the corporation, "Are your officers who are supposed to be on ground sleeping during their job?"

Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva orally remarked thus, while hearing a plea filed by one Asha Jain, aggrieved by the erection of an illegal building in the area.

The Petitioner pointed out that when the petition was initially filed in the year 2019, only 1½ storeys were constructed, however, during the pendency itself the construction had gone upto 5 floors, and placed photographs on record. 

Remarking that prima facie the entire structure has been built without concrete, the bench said, "There are no beams, pillars or roof plans appearing in photos. Structure upto 4 storeys and roof seems to have been cast iron girders," it observed.

NDMC replied on the matter that as the building is in occupancy of some residents, it cannot take any action without the aid of Delhi Police, however the Court shot down this submission asking, "During pendency of the petition you permit the property to come up by 4 more floors?"

"Then you say you can't take action. Why let it get constructed in the first place?"

While the NDMC counsel pointed out that the construction had come up during the pandemic, with officers on Covid-19 duty, the petitioner refuted this submitting that their petition was filed pre-Covid.

The bench orally suggested that NDMC officers may then file an affidavit stating that they were not aware of the building's construction.

It then warned the officers of a Central Bureau of Investigation inquiry and suspension.

The Court has now directed the Respondent to immediately inspect the property and submit a report to it with regard to the structural stability of the building before December 20.

Cause Title: Asha Jain vs NDMC & Ors.