AAP fulfills another promise; public feedback sought for Delhi Land Reform Act Amendments #500DaysOfAAP

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  1. A preamble to the Delhi Land Reforms Act, 1954 (herein after called ‘Act’ only) shows that the said Act was enacted for the modification of Zamidari System so as to create a uniform body of peasant proprietor without intermediaries for the unification of the existing tenancy laws. Various provisions of the Act show that the said Act was primarily enacted for agriculture land. Section 3 (13) of the Act defines land as the land which is held or occupied for the purpose of agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, pisciculture and poultry farming.

 

  1. The Act did not envisage large scale urbanization or unauthorized colonization of agriculture land. Delhi is a prime urban centre of the country, being national capital. However, with continued pressure of population moving from villages to urban areas and from smaller towns to bigger towns coupled with expansion of village abadi, there is a strong demand for land for the purposes of housing / non-agriculture activities. The Act was not created to address this demand, its objective was agriculture. Urbanization is, however, being regulated and controlled by another law – Delhi Development Act, 1957. Delhi Development Authority has been involved not only in planning but also development. Some people hold the view that the existing arrangement has failed in supplying the housing and other non-agricultural land use needs of the public and has not been able to deal with the fast pace of urbanization.

 

  1. Use of land for any purpose other than agricultural and connected activities like horticulture, animal husbandry, pisciculture, poultry farms is penalized under Section 81/82 of the Act. Incidentally, there is a provision for diversion of agriculture land but to industrial use only. Section 23 deals with ‘use of holdings for industrial purposes’ and provides that the Chief Commissioner (now Lt. Governor) may, on application presented to the Dy. Commissioner sanction the use of any holding or part thereof by a Bhumidar for industrial purposes even though it does not lie within such a belt. There is now a need to amend the provision so that there is a route of planned development available to the public. It would be appropriate that Section 81 & Section 82 of the Act and other related provisions existing in Schedule, Rules, Appendix and Forms are deleted. The Section 81 and 82 of the Act may be replaced by following provision:

 

‘Notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the time being in force, including Delhi Development Act 1957, the Government may permit conversion of agricultural land into non-agriculture use as prescribed in the rules subject to prevailing planning norms.’

 

The procedure for conversion of land use and the rates to be charged for land use conversion may be prescribed by the Government in the rules in due course of time. This would enable in guiding the process of urbanization and development. It would also help in raising the resources through levy of conversion charges. Of course it will also cast a responsibility on Government of NCT of Delhi to also take up development activities, presently done by the DDA. Without taking such responsibility, which will include acquiring land and carrying out development thereon for public purposes, the aforesaid provision will be difficult to operate in a just and fair manner. This is so because there will be owners whose land will be falling in areas earmarked for public utilities such as park, road, school, community facilities. The development of such public spaces/ utilities can be handled through the land conversion charges and the owners of the land utilized for such public utilities will need to be fairly compensated.

 

  1. It is noted that despite the existence of a provision to vest the land on account of colonization, large scale colonization has taken place in Delhi as reflected in number of colonies that have mushroomed. On the one hand, therefore, it is essential that the government provides a route for development to public as per planning norms and on the other, it provides for stringent provisions to act/ penalty against illegal colonizers, which may be as follows:

 

Provided any person contravening the aforesaid provision shall be liable for imprisonment upto three years and a fine upto Rs. Ten Lakh or both. Where an offence has been committed by a company who, at the time offence was committed was in-charge of, and was responsible to the company for the conduct of the business of the company shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

 

The Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 shall apply to such an offence as if it were a cognizable and non-bailable offence for all purposes under the code provided a complaint has been filed by Revenue Assistant or any officer of higher rank of the Revenue Department

 

Provided further, the Revenue Assistant shall also be competent to auction property so constructed or under construction through illegal colonization and credit sale amount earned through auction into the government treasury. The property, alongwith land, shall stand transferred to the person wining the auction and the revenue records shall be updated accordingly.’

 

  1. Section 33 of the Act deals with ‘Restrictions on the transfer by a Bhumidar’ and is meant to prevent fragmentation of holding. It states that no Bhumidar shall have the right to transfer land whereas a result of such transfer, the transferor shall be left with less than eight standard acres in the Union Territory of Delhi. This provision, in the face of growing urbanization and population and the resultant fragmentation of ownership, is outdated and needs deletion.

 

  1. Section 55 to 61 of the Act deal with partition of holdings. For partition of holdings, a Bhumidar has to file a suit but conditions prescribed in the Act severely restrict such request for partition. These provisions retard colonization on one hand but also create hassles for the land owners by not allowing a clear individual title/ share. However, in today’s time there is a need to have clarity of title/ ownership between the co-owners. In order to provide clarity to individual title, Sections 55 to 61 of the Act may be deleted and a provision for partition of the property may be inserted as follows:

 

‘A Bhumidar may partition his agriculture or non-agriculture land through mutual settlement with other co-owners, duly registered, and apply to the Revenue Assistant for ordering the corrections in the revenue records.’

 

  1. Land in Delhi is scarce and costly. There is no policy for allotment of such land to private persons. Indeed any such allotment to private persons will be scandalous. As such the provision contained in Section 73 to 75 of the Act regarding admission of a person as Asami or Bhumidhar need to be deleted.

 

  1. Section 85 of the Act provides for conferring the rights of Bhumidhari to the occupant of Agricultural land. This provision encourages dishonesty as an illegal occupant gets legal basis to grab the land of gaon sabha or a bhumidhar on the basis of possession. The Supreme Court has deprecated such system in a Judgement dated 23.09.2008 in Civil Appeal No. 1196/2007 (Hemaji Waghaji Jat Vs Bhikhabhai Khengarbhai Harijan & others). Section 85 of the Act was essentially meant towards recognizing the rights of a tiller. But now it promotes dishonesty. As such Section 85 of the Act may be deleted.

 

  1. Likewise Section 86A of the Act, though providing for ejectment of encroacher, provides for a limitation period of just three years. This only facilitates land grabbers. In its judgment dated 28.01.2011 in Civil Appeal No. 1132/2011 and SLP © No. 3109/2011 (Jagpal Singh & others Vs State of Punjab & others), the Supreme Court has advocated strict action against encroacher and observed that long duration of illegal occupation or huge expenditure on making constructions thereon or political connections must not be treated as justification for condoning the illegal act or for regularizing illegal possession. The present limitation period for Section 86A of the Act is three years which should be modified to none or increased to 30 years.

 

  1. Section 23, Section 33, Section 55 to 61, Section 73 to 75, Section 81 to 82, and Section 85 as well as Schedule/Rules/Appendix and forms related to these Sections in the DLR Act, 1954 may be deleted and, following Sections/provisions may be inserted suitably:

 

Notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the time being in force, including Delhi Development Act 1957, the Government may permit conversion of agricultural land into non-agriculture use as prescribed in the rules subject to prevailing planning norms.’

 

Provided any person contravening the aforesaid provision shall be liable for imprisonment upto three years and a fine upto Rs. Ten Lakh or both. Where an offence has been committed by a company who, at the time offence was committed was in-charge of, and was responsible to the company for the conduct of the business of the company shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

 

The Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 shall apply to such an offence as if it were a cognizable and non-bailable offence for all purposes under the code provided a complaint has been filed by Revenue Assistant or any officer of higher rank of the Revenue Department

 

Provided further, the Revenue Assistant shall also be competent to auction property so constructed or under construction through illegal colonization and credit sale amount earned through auction into the government treasury. The property, along with land, shall stand transferred to the person wining the auction and the revenue records shall be updated accordingly.’

 

‘A Bhumidar may partition his agriculture or non-agriculture land through mutual settlement with other co-owners, duly registered and after payment of stamp duty applicable to conveyance, and apply to the Revenue Assistant for ordering the corrections in the revenue records.’

 

‘The limitation period for the purpose of Section 86A shall be none.’

Delhi VAT Department seizes huge illegal stock of imported LED TVs #500DaysOfAAP

  • Department of Trade and Taxes seized huge illegal stock of imported LED TVs
  • The LED TVs were being sold by an unregistered firm without payment of VAT
  • Tax evasion of Rs 10 crores detected- Shri SS YADAV
  • Case registered under Delhi Value Added Tax Act 2004
  • FIR to be filed against the firm in concerned police station for violation of various legal provisions

 

In a major operation, the enforcement teams of the Department of Trade and Taxes, Government of NCT of Delhi seized a huge stock of expensive LED TV sets being sold illegally in the capital. The entire stock was imported by the firm. The cost of the stock seized is estimated to be about Rs 50 crores. The stock was seized from a firm who was selling these TV sets illegally in Karol Bag. The information about the seizure has also been shared with other enforcement agencies.

Giving details about the raid conducted by enforcement wing of Trade and Taxes, the Commissioner, Trade and Taxes Shri SS Yadav informed that the Department had received information that a firm is selling imported, high value LED TVs in Karolbag area. Survey of the area was conducted clandestinely by the enforcement teams. The modus operandi of the firm was studied and information about its warehouses and godowns was collected. The firm M/S G.S. Overseas, which was found having huge stock of these TV sets. The proprietors of the firms have admitted illegal purchase and sale of TVs. Various documents regarding unvouched transactions of the dealer were also seized from its premises.

Shri Yadav informed that the firm was not even registered with the Department of Trade and Taxes and is not paying any tax although its turnover is above the threshold limit. As per Delhi Value Added Tax Act, 2004, any person or entity having annual turnover of more than Rs 20 lakh has to mandatorily register with the Department of Trade and Taxes, get a TIN number, file quarterly returns and deposit the tax monthly.

Shri Yadav further informed that estimated tax evasion by the firm is Rs 10 crores. The department has initiated action against the firm under various penal provisions of the DVAT Act 2004. FIR is also being lodged against the firm in the concerned police station under various provisions of the DVAT Act 2004 and Indian Penal Code for prosecuting the firm in the court of law.

Shri S.S. Yadav, Commissioner, Trade and Taxes, Delhi lauded the efforts of the enforcement team led by Shri Ranjit Singh, Joint Commissioner, and Shri Vikas Tomar, Assistant Commissioner who carried out this operation. He said that drive against tax evaders will continue and no such person or entity will be spared. However, the Department is ensuring that genuine traders are not harassed and they are given full support by the department in carrying out their business fearlessly.

Delhi Environment Minister checks open waste burning across the city #500DaysOfAAP

  • Environment Minister conducts surprise inspections to check open burning of leaves/waste and to check dust emissions at construction sites.
  • Early morning inspections across many areas of the national capital.
  • Minister directs strict enforcement of fines to curb air pollution.

Dated : 12/12/2015

 

Environment Minister Mr Imran Hussain conducted surprise inspections from 7 AM onwards on Saturday at various sites to check burning of dry leaves/ waste material in the open and also checked dust emissions from some construction sites in Vivek Vihar, Anand Vihar and Karol Bagh areas.

 

The inspection was carried out in the presence of officers of Environment Department, Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) as well as Sub-Divisional Magistrates (SDMs) of concerned area.

 

These surprise checks were a part of the implementation of the Delhi government’s plan to curb the growing air pollution and to improve the air quality in the national capital. In accordance with the decision of the National Green Tribunal, the Environment Department has directed all Land Owning Agencies to impose a fine of Rs.5,000/- on those indulging in burning of waste material in the open and a fine of Rs.50,000/- on the owners/ builders not following the dust control measures while carrying out construction activity.

 

In order to further boost the efforts to contain burning instances in open, Delhi government has also empowered SDMs and Tehsildars to impose fines on the violators.

 

During the on-site inspections, the minister found instance of dry leaves/ waste material having been burnt in recent past at DDA Park, Anand Vihar.  He directed the SDM, Vivek Vihar to levy a fine for burning of leaves.

 

The Minister interacted with morning walkers and local residents in the Park and persuaded them to spread the message of prevention of burning in the open as well as control of dust so that they can lend their hand in effective control of air pollution.

Mr Hussain inspected a site at Anand Vihar where a commercial complex under construction  was found not complying with the norms of dust control as the building material including soil and sand was found uncovered and the constructed structure was also found not covered with plastic/ tarpaulin on all sides.

 

Two more construction sites were visited at Ram Vihar which were also found violating dust control measures. The Minister ordered the SDM concerned to take action against the owner builder, in accordance with the NGT orders.

 

Mr Hussain also visited Suraj Mal Vihar Park and Yojna Vihar Park and interacted with local residents and morning walkers. At Yojna Vihar Park, local residents informed that the toilet in the park was in shabby and non-usable condition.

 

The Minister directed the Environment Department to interact with DDA for making the toilet functional.  He asked Environment Department to write to all the park owning agencies to make a provision of toilets in the parks.

 

At Yojna Vihar Park, the Minister was informed that people consume liquor at late hours in the park and requested his intervention to stop this practice. He directed the Environment Department to write to Police authorities in this regard immediately.

 

The Minister also carried out a surprise inspection at Aram Bagh Park in Karol Bagh area and noticed generator-set at the park used for functions.  He directed the DPCC to check its functioning and take necessary action in case this generator-set is found violating air and pollution norms.

 

Mr Hussain said that such surprise inspections will be carried out by the government on a regular basis and urged the citizens to prevent the burning of waste material in open and also to observe dust control norms while carrying out construction activities.  Further, the Minister requested citizens to inform such instances on the recently launched Swachh Delhi App so that concerned authorities can take immediate necessary action.

Delhi Government’s major decision to control air pollution and traffic #500DaysOfAAP

Delhi government decisions to control air pollution and traffic chaos in the national capital

 

Delhi government, in an important meeting chaired by the Chief Minister Mr Arvind Kejriwal on Friday and attended by all ministers, senior officials and the Delhi Dialogue Commission to formulate an action plan for controlling air pollution in the national capital, took a series of far reaching decisions mentioned below :

1) In view of the current levels of air pollution prevailing in Delhi, it was decided to consider permitting the plying of only odd/even number of vehicles on alternate days in Delhi from 1 January, 2016. (Emergency services like ambulances etc., will be kept out of this). The modalities to formulate the scheme shall be worked out urgently by Principal Secretary (Transport) together with Secretary (Environment) / Secretary (Revenue). Traffic Police will also be associated in this regard and invited to the meetings.

2) The fleet of Delhi Transport Corporation shall be augmented by Transport Department/DTC on the days restrictions are imposed for plying of even/odd number vehicles on Delhi roads.

3) It was noted that large number of school buses operate for a limited period of the day. Transport Department/DTC shall consider hiring these and similar buses for meeting additional public transport needs.

 

4) The DTC shall also operate their buses at higher frequency and for a longer period of time in a day. A request will go to Delhi Metro for extending the timing of its operations in the late evening.

 

5)  Public Works Department will expedite proposals already under consideration in the department for vacuum cleaning of the dust from the roads in Delhi.  The agencies are to be appropriately identified and target date for starting vacuum cleaning of the dust from roads shall be 01.04.2016.

 

6) It was noted that dust arises also from kuccha parts of the road berms, central verges and open spaces falling within the right of way of the roads. Extensive horticulture works shall be undertaken by the PWD w.e.f. 1.1.2016 with the objective to ensure that open areas prone to generating dust are greened and do not contribute to the dust.

 

7)  Environment Department/DPCC will consider issuing orders to close the Badarpur and Rajghat Thermal Power Plants, which are contributing in a major way to the air pollution in Delhi.

 

8)  Air pollution in Delhi has been attributed to the Thermal Power Plant at Dadri, Uttar Pradesh. Delhi government will move an application in National Green Tribunal for closure of the Dadri Thermal Plant.

 

9) It was noted that goods trucks start moving on Delhi roads from 9.00 PM onwards while active traffic continues well beyond 9.00 PM. Trucks slow down drastically rest of the traffic, with the result that majority of other vehicles on the roads have to spend longer time contributing to the air pollution in a major way. Transport Department, with help of Traffic Police will finalise proposal to allow movement of trucks in Delhi from 10.00/11.00 PM instead of 9.00 PM.

 

10) A large number of outside trucks that enter into Delhi are found to be polluting the air as they do not meet GNCTD’s ‘Pollution Under Control’ norms. Transport Department will make arrangements for checking such vehicles and imposing fines on polluters.

 

11) It was also decided to crowd-source complaints (i) relating to visibly polluting vehicles and (ii) of burning of bio-mass, garbage, leaves, etc. using IT technology. The UD Department will modify its recently launched Swachh Bharat App. so that these complaints can be received from the public and are forwarded for action by the concerned authorities.

 

12)  The cut-off date for implementation of Euro-VI emission norms for India has been fixed at 1 January 2019. Delhi government has decided to pre-pone it to 1st Jan 2017. Delhi government will make all efforts to meet this new self-imposed deadline.

 

13) Those MCD parkings on PWD roads of Delhi, which are creating chaos on roads will be closed down. The department has been directed to take effective steps to implement these decisions at the earliest.

 

14) Next review meeting will be held on 8.12.2015. (Tuesday).

 

15) The meeting was attended by Deputy Chief Minister Mr Manish Sisodia, Chief Secretary Mr KK Sharma, ministers Mr Gopal Rai, Mr Satyendar Jain, Mr Imran Hussain, Mr Kapil Mishra and Mr Sandeep Kumar, DDC vice-chairman Ashish Khetan and other senior officials of the Delhi government and Delhi Pollution Control Committee.

DDC hosted day-long consultation on car pooling policy #500DaysOfAAP

  • DDC holds day-long consultations on car pooling policy
  • Report to be submitted to the Delhi government by early next week
  • Car pooling models of other world cities discussed with service providers

New Delhi: 09/12/2015

 

The Delhi Dialogue Commission (DDC) on Wednesday held a daylong consultation with over a dozen providers to enable and expand ridesharing, carpooling, and shuttle services for the citizens of Delhi.

 

This consultation explored the challenges and opportunities in providing and rapidly expanding these solutions to minimize the apprehensions in the minds of car commuters, when the air pollution control measures will be implemented from the new year.

 

The consultation, held in the presence of Delhi Traffic Police, included representatives from Pool my Ride, Embarq India, Tripda.in, Carzonrent, Uber, Ola, Shuttl.com, NearGroup.in, Ibibo Ryde, Mega Carpool private limited, Mega Cabs, LetsDriveAlong.com, BaxiTaxi, Orahi, Cykul, and DIMTS.

 

The consultations focused, in particular, on security features, such as a process to verify the identities of drivers and riders who participate via carpooling apps, audit log mechanisms, liabilities, and SOS alert mechanisms.

 

To develop the framework of ridesharing and carpooling services, the government of Delhi also examined how such services are delivered in other countries, such as Singapore, Ireland and others.

 

It has been decided that the DDC vice-chairman Shri Ashish Khetan will submit the blueprint to the government by early next week on the carpooling policy and how it can be effectively implemented.