High Court seeks AAP government, DDA stand on contempt plea over earthquake stability orders


A Bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan issued notices to them as also to the New Delhi Municipal Council on the plea filed by lawyer Arpit Bhargava.

The Delhi High Court has sought responses of the AAP government, the DDA and the three municipal corporations on a plea seeking contempt action against them for allegedly not complying with judicial orders on ensuring seismic stability of buildings in the national capital.

A Bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan on Tuesday issued notices to them as also to the New Delhi Municipal Council on the plea filed by lawyer Arpit Bhargava, who has claimed that the court’s earlier orders on making the national capital ready to face any major earthquake have not been complied with yet.

The high court’s earlier orders had come on Mr. Bhargava’s PIL filed in 2015 claiming that the seismic stability of buildings in Delhi was poor and in case of a major earthquake there could be a large number of casualties.

The petition is still pending before the high court which from time to time has directed the Delhi government and civic authorities to develop an action plan.

In June this year, after 11 minor tremors struck Delhi in a matter of days from April 12 onwards, Mr. Bhargava moved an application seeking setting up of a monitoring committee to ensure timely implementation of the action plan for strengthening buildings in Delhi.

The court had, thereafter, issued several directions to the authorities to survey whether buildings in Delhi were compliant with the norms of seismic stability, identify non-compliant ones, take necessary action and also develop an action plan.

In his plea seeking contempt action against the authorities, Mr. Bhargava has said that “despite serious intervention by the high court over a period of five years”, the authorities “have shown little concern for larger public interest and did not move an inch” to formulate and implement an action plan.

He has contended that there has been a “deliberate and wilful non compliance/violation of various orders” passed by the court.

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