The Delhi High Court has expressed its anguish over the city government failing to do anything concrete in relation to the construction of certain chambers for lawyers in spite of a direction passed 12 years ago and asked the chief secretary here to give a roadmap for its implementation.
Hearing a petition filed by the Sales Tax Bar Association, Justice Subramonium Prasad said the status report indicates that the authorities are acting contrary to the directions and warned that its orders cannot be allowed to be flouted with impunity.
“Twelve years have passed and nothing has happened. This court has expressed its anguish on more than one occasion regarding the complete inaction on the part of the government to implement the orders of this court,” the judge said in a recent order.
“The chief secretary is directed to give a roadmap before the next date of hearing as to by when the construction will be completed and orders of the court implemented,” the order said.
The judge listed the matter for further hearing on January 12 and asked the special commissioner of the department of trade and taxes and special secretary of the public works department (PWD) to remain present in court.
In January 2011, the high court had, on a separate plea moved by the petitioner, passed an order on the construction of a building to house lawyers’ chambers and offices of the State. However, the petitioner filed the present petition last year after the order was not complied with.
The court said last year that it was “unable to comprehend” why there was a delay of 11 years in the implementation of the order when the land was identified and called for “better coordination” between the State authorities in the interest of the legal community.
In the latest order, the court noted that according to the status report, the Delhi government is contemplating the construction of a twin tower on the land and the same would require a complete change of plan.
“This status report indicates that the State is not acting in accordance with the directions passed by this court in 2011, rather it is acting contrary to the directions of the court,” the judge observed.
“Orders of this court cannot be permitted to be flouted with impunity. Nothing concrete has been done for the last 12 years,” the judge remarked.