Considering objections  SC gave one month to Himachal to publish Shimla Development Plan

The Supreme Court of India gave one month’s time for the state of Himachal to publish Draft Development Plan for Shimla town after considering objections and the same shall not be given effect for one month till the matter is finally heard on the next date of hearing.

In the SC on Wednesday, the matter was listed for hearing before the division bench of Justice B.R. Gavai, Justice Vikram Nath, and Justice Sanjay Karol. 

After the hearing and submission made by a respondent and intervenor applicant  Hitanshu Jishtu, the court deferred the hearing in the matter till 12th July, giving one month time to the state to consider the objections and submit a final published draft of DP. 

Supreme Court would thereafter examine the DP after publication and also left it open for all aggrieved to challenge and proceed before the High Court under Article 226 for redressal of their grievance and challenged the final draft plan. 

Appearing for interpleader Architect Hitanshu Jistu advocate Raghav Goel pleaded that state has already vide press note dated 27.04.2022 of HP cabinet decisions approved the DP despite there being notice regarding stay issued in CWPIL 23/2023  by High court on 12.04.2022 and thus permitted construction and let the state publish the same in accordance with the law.

 it was also pressed by the counsel that in the same press release dated 27.04.2022 on the official website, it was categorically held that IDP stood ceased. 

He submitted a copy of a press note published on state government websites which states that DP was approved. He said that he also moved before Himachal Pradesh High Court with a similar plea however HC issued a stay of DP. 

The counsel for respondent Yogendra Mohan Sengupta’s advocate Rahul Chaudhary also stated that NGT has rejected the DP terming it against its earlier order. 

The respondent sought the SC to stay the DP as it was being issued without considering their objections and which is against the TCP Act, Appearing for the state of Himachal Pradesh Advocate General Anup Rattan said that new construction was allowed by the government as per interim development Plan and govt is planning to publish the Draft Development Plan. 

He said that Goverment Petition is pending before this court to set aside the NGT order however it was allowed by the impugned verdict of NGT to publish a new draft plan but   new construction is stayed by NGT as per the interim development Plan. He submitted that the government is considering the objections of IA and would publish a draft plan within 15 days.

The court allowed the state to publish a draft plan but it would not permit new Construction as per the new development Plan and it would be put in abeyance, if it would permit any Construction before the publication of DP it would not consider it authorized.

SC not stayed the NGT judgment and would hear the matter and not allow the construction as per the new development Plan and interim development Plan in Shimla MC till the next date of hearing when they would examine the matter.

Aggrieved by the National Green Tribunal verdict,( passed in 2017 on an application filed by one Yogendra Mohan Sengupta), the State of Himachal had filed a Civil Appeal in front of SC in 2019 seeking to set aside the said verdict.

It is worthwhile to mention that all high-rise and new construction are not allowed in the core and heritage zone. As the NGT verdict stayed all new construction in the core and green areas of Shimla Planning area and new construction in the rest parts of the Planning area in the town couldn’t be allowed beyond two and a half (attic) floors.

 Town and country planning and Shimla MC could allow new construction after prior permission or consent of a supervisory expert committee appointed by the NGT in November 2017.

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