Delhi HC Justice Vibhu Bakhru dismissed the plea filed by Shopkeepers Association Ajmal Khan Road in Karol Bagh challenging the Decision of Transport body, United Traffic & Transportation Infrastructure (Planning & Engineering Centre) (UTTIPEC’s) decision to make it a non-motorable road.
“You don’t have inherent or vested right to park on the road”, said Justice Vibhu Bakhru while dismissing the plea. However, Court has directed Delhi Police to allow vehicle for 2-3 hours so that Shopkeepers can Transport their goods to shops.
Courts direction came while hearing a plea filed by Association of Shopkeepers Ajmal Khan Road, Karol Bagh who challenged the impugned action of the UTTIPEC for withdrawing the parking facilities at Ajmal Khan Road Karol Bagh & converting the said road from Motorable to Non-Motorable road. Petitioners contended that the said decision taken by the Authorities without giving prior notice and without making suitable & alternative arrangements for the parking of vehicles of Shopkeepers, Customers, Stakeholders, Suppliers, Employees & Bank etc.
“Act of authorities not only illegal, arbitrary but also smacks of malafides as the respondents have collected more than Rs.80-90 Crores from the petitioners in the present case and from various other shopkeepers on Ajmal Khan Road as one time parking charges”, said the Plea.
However, the court did not agree to the contentions of the association and said that the same is “unsustainable”. It said that even though the road is motorable, the shopkeepers do not have the right to park their vehicles on the road.
The court said that even though the shopkeepers have paid a one-time parking charge, the same cannot be misconstrued as parking charges as the amount is required for the utilization of specific purposes.
“In view of the above, this court is unable to accept the contention that the members have the right to park on the Ajmal Khan road,” Justice Bakhru said.
Appearing for the petitioner, its counsel told the court that the decision of the UTTIPEC along with other authorities to turn the road non-motorable will cause problems to the shopkeepers for filling in goods and other things in their shops.
He also said that no emergency vehicles like that of an ambulance, fire tenders etc could enter in the area creating problems for them.
Noting this submission, the court directed the Delhi police to allow the vehicles for two-three hours in the day so that the work of the shopkeepers is not hampered. It also allowed the petitioners to make a representation in this regard and all the apprehensions would be answered by the authorities.
—India Legal Bureau
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