Photo used for indicative purpose only. Courtesy Internet

Himachal Pradesh would not give effect to Shimla development plan till next hearing: SC

Shimla, July 12

In a recent development, the Supreme Court of India has issued an order restraining the Himachal Pradesh Government from implementing the Shimla Development Plan published on June 23, 2023, until the next date of hearing. The order was passed by Bench of Court-4, comprising Justices BR Gavai, JB Pardiwala, and Sanjay Kumar, while hearing the Special Leave Petition in the case of the State of HP vs. Yogendra Mohan Sengupta.

During the hearing, the advocate representing the state of Himachal Pradesh informed the court that the Department of Town and Country Planning had published the plan on June 23, 2023, in compliance with the previous order of the Supreme Court. The advocate stated that the state was willing to place a copy of the Shimla Development Plan on record.

However, Justice Gavai raised a concern regarding news reports indicating that the state of HP was permitting the use of parking areas for residential purposes. Justice Gavai sought clarification on whether cars would be allowed to park on the road. In response, the counsel representing Himachal Pradesh requested two weeks’ time to provide a satisfactory explanation, citing the unavailability of the Advocate General due to heavy rains.

Justice Gavai cautioned the state government that the court would take strict action if it permitted the use of parking areas in buildings for residential purposes.

Also read:Supreme Court defers hearing on Shimla Development Plan, gives Himachal a month to publish draft after considering objections

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

Appearing for interpleader Hitanshu Jistu, advocate Raghav Goel informed the bench that despite para 2 and 3 of Supreme court order of 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 final DP shall not be given effect until further orders by the supreme court.

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


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