Thursday, February 2, 2023

Supreme Court exempts buildings up to 17.5 mt from Delhi Fire Services Rules

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The Supreme Court has exempted buildings which are up to 17.5 metres tall with stilts from the Rule 27 of the Delhi Fire Service Rules 2010, which categorizes any building above 15 meters height as high-rise.

A bench of Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice V. Ramasubramanian said that the 15 meter restriction would apply to buildings without stilts, while buildings with stilts can be as tall as 17.5 meters, beyond which it will be categorised as high rise.

This means the Fire Department cannot object to buildings above 15 meters, but with stilts stands nullified.

A plea was filed in a residential project in Defence Colony on behalf of Senior Advocate and Supreme Court Bar Association president Vikas Singh. The project was under the cloud since it was 16 meters tall with stilts and the Delhi Fire Department had refused to grant clearance for the same.

After the Delhi High Court rejected his plea, Singh preferred an appeal in the Supreme Court.

The primary contention put forth by Senior Advocate Nidhesh Gupta appearing for Singh was that the Delhi Master Plan 2021 after amendments, allows buildings which are 17.5 meters with stilts to be exempted from the category of high-rise and that the Delhi Fire Service Rules (DSFE Rules) was not in conformity with the master plan.

The Apex court agreed and held that under Rule 27 of the DFSE 2010, 15 meters would now mean 17.5 meters with stilts.

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