Supreme Court asks Delhi BJP chief to respond to contempt plea

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari to file an affidavit explaining why he broke the lock of a sealed property in Delhi’s Gokulpur village.

Justice Madan B. Lokur, Justice Abdul S. Nazeer and Justice Deepak Gupta took strong exception to Tiwari’s statement in which he said that the apex court appointed Monitoring Committee was not sealing thousands of unauthorised buildings.

Referring to a video footage showing him breaking the seal, the court told Tiwari, who was present in court,: “In your CD you say there are 1,000 places that deserve to be sealed… You give us a list of those places, we’ll make you the sealing officer.”

The apex court asked him to file an affidavit on the contempt plea filed against him and be present for the next hearing on October 3.

The bench said: “It is important that elected members should not defy the order of this court.”

It termed the action of Tiwari “unfortunate” and said it showed a “disturbed affair where a member of Parliament was alleged to have broken the seal of some premises” despite sealing operation in line with orders passed by the apex court.

The contempt plea had sought stringent action against Tiwari.

The Monitoring Committee had contended that members of political parties and others were intentionally and deliberately violating the court’s order of not to interfere in the sealing drive against illegal and unauthorized constructions in the city.

It said the court should act tough against such persons to ensure that its orders were not violated.

Tiwari on Tuesday again visited the village and protested against the sealing drive initiated by municipal authorities, senior advocate Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the Monitoring Committee, told the bench.

The police have registered a First Information Report (FIR) against Tiwari for illegally breaking the lock.

He has been booked under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and 461 and 465 of the Delhi Municipal Corporation (DMC) Act.

The top court has time and again warned political leaders not to politicise the issue of sealing and had earlier issued contempt notice to BJP MLA O.P. Sharma and Municipal Councillor Gunjan Gupta for preventing the committee for taking action against unauthorized constructions in Delhi. But the two were let off after they tendered an unconditional apology.

The sealing drive in Delhi is being carried out by a Supreme Court-appointed Monitoring Committee against business establishments using residential properties for commercial purposes. It is being implemented by three BJP-led Municipal Corporations of Delhi.