Himachal restrained by the Supreme Court to not give effect to Shimla Development Plan till the next hearing

Himachal Pradesh Government was restrained by the Supreme Court of India to not give effect to Shimla Development Plan published on June 23, 2023, till the next date of hearing.

Hearing the Special Leave Petition in the matter of state of HP vs. Yogendra Mohan Sengupta Bench of Court -4 of SC comprising justices BR Gavai, Justice JB Pardiwala, and Justice Sanjay Kumar passed this order.

The advocate representing the state of Himachal advised the court that six week time was given to publish the Draft Development Plan after duly considering the objection filed by the stakeholders. He said that the Department of Town and Country Planning of Himachal Pradesh published the plan on June 23, 2023, according to SC’s previous order. The state said that it would allow placing the copy of the record SDP in the court.

In the meantime, Justice Gavai raised a query that we have came to know from newspapers reporting that the state of HP is permitting the use of parking areas for the residential purpose. ”In case you would permit the cars would allow parking on the road” Justice Gavai asked.

In the reply counsel representing Himachal stated that Advocate General could not come due to heavy rains. This query could be best explained by him and urging the court to grant two week time.

Justice Gavai warned the state in case the state government would permit area the use of parking in a building for residential purposes the court will come heavily.

The court allowed the state to place a copy of the Draft Development Plan on the record however court restraining the state said that the plan will not be given effect till the next date and the next hearing would hold on the matter after two weeks.

Appearing for interpleader Hitanshu Jistu, advocate Raghav Goel informed the bench that despite para 2 and 3 of the Supreme court order dated 3.05.2023, it was clearly stated that the state to decide the objections, the objections were not decided by the state government and no reasons have been conveyed.

The counsel for the state disputed the fact that all the objections are duly considered before publishing the draft plan. The state assured the court that the final DP shall not be given effect until further order by the supreme court.

It is worthwhile to mention that the State government has challenged the National Green Tribunal judgment passed in November 2017 and also restrained the new construction on the basis of the Interim development plan in the Shimla planning area. The state also challenged the NGT order which has declared the new Shimla Development Plan illegal and against the NGT, November 2017 order.

During the previous hearing in the matter, SC allowed the state of Himachal to publish a new draft plan considering and deciding 97 objections raised by the stakeholders.

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