Supreme Court seeks Centre, states' response on PIL against illegal layouts, their regularisation


The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Central and state governments for their responses on a plea against the regularisation of illegal layouts as the same is being done without appropriate impact assessment on urban flooding, crowding, increase of slums, unregulated development etc. and is against Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution.

The Supreme Court bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and Ajay Rastogi has issued notice to the Centre, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Housing and Urban Affairs, CBI, National Disaster Management Authority, States of Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. The Court has directed the petitioner to implead all the states and union territories in the matter and list the matter for hearing after 8 weeks.

The petition filed by Juvvadi Sagar Rao through advocate-on-record Hitendra Nath Rath alleges that the respondent states have been implementing regularisation of illegal layouts in their respective states. The name itself clearly shows that the government is regularising the illegal act committed by real estate mafia with the help of government officials in the respondent states. The regularisation scheme has been repeatedly implemented by the respondent and will cause immense damage to the environment, regulated development and cause traffic jams, stagnation of drainage and urban flooding etc.

The petitioner contended that the respondent states have a duty to abide by the Constitution and prepare the schemes according to law. But in the present case, respondent states ignored the rule of law and allowed the illegal acts committed by real estate mafia and self-interested people which will result in disaster. He further alleged that the actions of the respondent states is violative of Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution.

The petitioner has sought the Court’s intervention to pass the following directions;

A. issue writ, order or direction more particularly one in the nature of Writ of Mandamus declaring the Government Orders annexed herewith as Annexure P 1 to P 7 issued by Respondent States without conducting appropriate impact assessment on urban flooding, crowding, increase of slums, unregulated development etc as illegal, unconstitutional and contrary to Article 14 & 21 of the Constitution of India and/or :,

B. Issue Writ, order, direction in the nature of Writ of Mandamus directing the Respondents to Appoint a committee headed by retired judge of this Court or concerned High Court along with experts of urban planning, environment, disaster management from Respondent No. 1 to 3 along with the officials of respective states to verify impact of unauthorized, illegal layouts in respective states to suggest appropriate remedial measures and/or;

C. Issue Writ, order, direction in the nature of Writ of Mandamus directing the respondent states to fix responsibility and take action on concerned public, private persons/entities for indulging sale/registration of plots, houses in illegal, unauthorized layouts in respective states and/or;

D. Issue Writ, order, direction in the nature of Writ of Mandamus directing the respondent states to prepare action plan similar to the directions issued by this Court in Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai & Ors Vs M/s Sunbeam Hightech Developers, Civil Appeal No. 7627 of 2019 and/or;

E. Direct Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and CC to take appropriate action on illegal layouts, Area Development activity for violating EIA Notification, 2006, Environment, Water Acts and/or;

F. Direct the Respondent States to set up fund with the money generated from regularization scheme and spend the money for improving public facilities such as sewage lines, parks, roads, street lighting, public places etc and/or;

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G. Direct the respondent states to conduct comprehensive inquiry through CBI/Vigilance department into the corruption, generation of black money in granting approvals to illegal layouts, houses and registration of properties in illegal, unapproved layouts.