Published On : Tue, Sep 25th, 2018

SC pulls up Manoj Tiwari, offers to make him a ‘sealing officer’

The Supreme Court on Tuesday pulled up Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party chief Manoj Tiwari saying being an MP does not give him the liberty to take law into own hands and offered to make him a ‘sealing officer’ over his claim there are 1,000 illegal structures in the capital which deserve to be sealed.

Tiwari was taken to task for allegedly casting aspersions on the apex court committee which is supervising the sealing of illegal structures in Delhi.

Tiwari was present in the court in pursuance to the contempt notice issued to him for allegedly breaking the seal of a premises which was being run in violation of the Delhi Master Plan.

Expressing anguish at his statement, a bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur asked the BJP leader to explain his claims made to a news channel relating to the Delhi sealing matter.

“Mr Tiwari, in your CD, you say there are one thousand places which deserve to be sealed. Give us a list of these places. We will make you the sealing officer,” said the bench also comprising Justices S Abdul Nazeer and Deepak Gupta.

It also directed him to file an affidavit within a week explaining why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against him.

Tiwari, who is an MP from northeast Delhi constituency, had said that the apex court-appointed monitoring committee was not sealing thousands of illegal structures.

An FIR was lodged against him by the East Delhi Municipal Corporation for allegedly breaking the seal of one premises in Gokalpuri area in north-east Delhi.

Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for the BJP leader, contended no seal was broken by Tiwari, who, being an MP, had never disrupted the sealing process.

Singh also alleged that the ‘monitoring committee was seeking publicity using your Lordships’ forum and the property in question had nothing to do with sealing order’.

The lawyer said he needed time to file a detailed reply in the matter.

“We are asking you, have you seen the CD? In the CD, he says there are thousand places which deserve to be sealed. He is a Member of Parliament. That does not give him liberty to take law in his hands,” the court told Tiwari’s counsel.

It then directed Tiwari to appear on October 3 again when it will hear the matter.

While taking serious note of a report filed by the monitoring committee in this regard, the top court had earlier observed it was ‘unfortunate’ that an elected representative should try to defy the orders of the top court.

The court had taken cognisance of the panel report and said it reflected a ‘rather disturbing state of affairs’.

In its report, the monitoring committee has said that ‘despite repeated directions of this court, the members of political parties and other such persons are intentionally and deliberately violating and showing utter disgrace to the directions passed by the court for political gains’.

Senior advocate Ranjit Kumar, assisting the court as an amicus curiae in the Delhi sealing matter, had placed the committee’s report before the bench and said an FIR has been lodged against Tiwari for allegedly breaking the seal of the premises which was being used as a dairy.

He had that the premises had been ‘re-sealed’ and a video of the incident was also annexed with report of the committee, which had suggested stringent action in the matter.

In the report, the committee has urged the court to ‘pass stringent directions including initiation of contempt proceedings against Mr Manoj Tiwari for seal tampering so that sealing operations may continue uninterrupted as per directions of this court’.

The monitoring committee, comprising K J Rao, former advisor to the Election Commissioner, Bhure Lal, chairman of Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority, and Major General (Retd) Som Jhingan, was set up by the apex court on March 24, 2006.