Letter of 01/03/2005 wrt GNCTD forwardings of letters (in context of MPISG PIL) about farmhouse party policy and non-compliance of court order for rectification of violations on school sites

Mr Rakesh Mehta, Commissioner MCD

Sub: Illegal “misuse-charges” getting in the way of rectification of illegalities even after court orders


News items:
(a) ‘Factor 3 for schools with high fee slab’, Express Newsline, 25.02.2005
(b) ‘Private schools to hike fees’, Express Newsline, 26.05.2005

GNCTD forwardings:
(a) dt. 23/02/05 of our letter of 03/02/05 (and 28/12/05, enclosed) wrt WP 8954-59/2003
(b) dt. 11/01/05 of our letters of 21/09/04 (and 17/02/04, enclosed) wrt WP 8523/2003


The news item under reference at 1(a) says that “respite” given to (commercial) schools from (public-purpose / utility / commercial classification-based) property tax regime has been “scrapped” and the one at 1(b) (quoting also the Action Committee of Public Schools that has now moved court against GNCTD free seats directive) speaks of “inevitable” fee hike as a result of this and of MCD’s misuse-charge for parking buses on roads.

You are aware, as Repondent No.4, that WP (C) 8954-59/2003 contend that high fees, excessive parking, etc, result from substantive violations of the Delhi Master Plan scheme for equal access neighbourhood schooling. By the GNCTD forwarding under reference at 2(a) you are also aware that on 27.10.2004 the Hon’ble Court has directed action against these violations.

By the GNCTD forwarding under reference at 2(b) (of letters sent also to you as Respondent in WP 8523/2003 with request to expedite replies, still awaited, as per Order of 22.09.2004) you are also aware of our contentions with reference to “policy” of 2004 to allow misuse of farmhouses for commercial parties, about illegality of the “misuse-charge” approach that marks also MCD property tax regime and parking-charge for schools.

In its counter-affidavit of 20.02.2004 in WP 8954-59/2004 MCD has stated it “has very limited role to play in this petition” (para-3), “seeks liberty to file additional affidavit as and when required” (para-5) and “will abide by and implement whatever directions are given” (para-8). Shortly afterwards, you expounded on television MCD’s property tax proposal for schools, which we questioned in letter of 03.03.2004 (annexed in our Rejoinder). MCD neither responded to that letter nor filed an additional affidavit and now, despite having undertaken to abide by the Hon’ble Court’s directions that are unambiguously for rectification of violations, MCD still feels free to condone violations with illegal “misuse-charge” that violating schools feel free to pass on to children.

The violations that are subject of WP 8954-59/2003 include building level violations and WP 8523/2003 is about the statutory regime that, in effect, substituted the Lal Dora dispensation, etc. It is odd that although MCD is working (on basis of Orders in PIL rather than unambiguous statutory jurisdiction) on reform on building byelaws, Lal Dora and heritage, it has not cared to respond to our requests even for just names of its experts with whom techno-legal issues raised in our PIL can be discussed. It is also odd that GNCTD forwards our requests for compliance on court orders, CVC references, etc, to you for action and direct ATR to us.

Your ATR on farmhouse misuse was communicated as news item of 06.01.05 about your recommendation of “recognition of commercial exploitation of these spaces which would allow the government to charge higher property taxes” and of viewing them “as potential land reserves for provision of social facilities” having been incorporated in DMP-2021. Now your ATR on illegalities on school sites (ie, sites for social facilities) has been communicated in the news items under reference. The inconsistency between the two ATRs is self-evident.

The obvious commitment to allow misuse of public land for profit belies all worthiness claims about greater resource collections / allocations or DMP-2021, Education Bill, etc. Amidst such anomie, we do not expect any meaningful response to letters about Order of 27.10.2004 in WP 8954-59/2003. We await counter-affidavits in WP 8523/2003 (for which the Hon’ble Court granted two more weeks on 23.02.2005). Yours sincerely


Gita Dewan Verma, MPISG Planner

cc: (for information wrt F.No.13/84/2003/UD/MB/18348 dt.23/02/2004)

  • GNCTD Director Education
  • GNCTD Chief Secretary (also with request to expedite GNCTD counter-affidavit in WP 8523/2003)
  • DDA Vice Chairman (also with request to expedite DDA counter-affidavit in WP 8523/2003)

To support planned development. To oppose unplanned development. To protect our future.