Demolition Drive In Punjab Village That Would Adversely Affect Two Lakh People: SC Allows Urgent Listing
The Supreme Court yesterday allowed the urgent listing of the Petition filed against an alleged illegal demolition drive being conducted by Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) against properties situated in village Karoran, Punjab.
The Petitioners had assailed the order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court which had refused to stay the demolition in the area.
The Bench of CJI DY Chandrachud and Justice JB Pardiwala permitted urgent listing of the matter on April 14.
"List the Special Leave Petitions on 14 April 2023, subject to curing of defects, if any," the Bench held.
The Bench orally observed, "The Petitioners should intimate the Respondents about this order in case any demolition drive is being conducted before the listing date."
Earlier, the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2017 vide an order dated May 2, 2017 in CWP 3241 of 2017 had ordered the inclusion of the left-out areas of village Karoran in Punjab within the jurisdiction of the Notified Area Committee Naya Gaon and had effectively taken away the jurisdiction of GMADA from the development and planning activities of village Karoran.
In the year 2018, the Apex Court stayed the operation of the High Court's order and the matter has been pending since before the Court.
Senior Advocate Arijit Prasad along with AOR Bharat Thakorlal Manubarwala appeared for the Petitioners before the Apex Court.
The Petitioners have urged that despite the matter being pending before the Supreme Court, the GMADA issued Public Notices ordering for demolition of unspecified properties in village Karoran and approached the High Court challenging the impugned notices.
The High Court on March 21 and March 29 this year refused to grant interim stay on the impugned demolition without providing any reasons.
As per the Petitioners, the demolition drive is likely to affect the lives of 2 lakh individuals living in 75 thousand houses in the area.
Furthermore, it has been pleaded, "The Hon'ble High Court failed to see that the Impugned Demolition Notices issued by the Respondents herein was wholly without authority and further was unwarranted in view of the gravaman of the issue already being sub judice before this Hon'ble Court and as such an Interim Stay of the same was necessary to avoid the matter from being rendered infructuous."
Therefore, the Petitioners have stated that -
"i) The refusal of the High Court to grant stay has put the entire matter at risk of being rendered infructuous and as such ought to be granted;
ii) The Demolition Notice issued had lapsed and was non-est in view of the doctrine of desuetude;
iii) The Notices so issued by the Respondent transcends its authority and is bad in law.
The Petitioner has thus sought a stay on the demolition drive being conducted by GMADA and also sought that the Petition be heard along with the pending matter on the issue.
Cause Title: Satpal Sharma & Ors. v. The State of Punjab & Ors.