In a judgement with significant ramifications, the Supreme Court on Monday ruled that banks, hospitals and other commercial activities cannot be carried out from plots in Noida developed for residential purposes and ordered 21 banks and nursing homes in sector 19 to immediately close operations.
"Banking or nursing homes or any other commercial activity is not permitted in sector 19 and for that matter, in any sector, in the development area earmarked for 'residential use'," a bench comprising justices Swatanter Kumar and Ranjana Prakash Desai said.
The apex court directed that the 'misuse' of the residential plot be 'stopped' forthwith and its order should be complied within two months. Noida is located on the outskirts of Delhi.
"The 21 banks and nursing homes, which are operating in sector 19 or any other residential sector, shall close their activity forthwith, stop misuse and put the premises to residential use alone, within two months from the date of pronouncement of this judgment," the bench said.
The court also said the lessees of the plots shall ensure that the occupant banks, nursing homes, companies or persons carrying on any commercial activity in the residential sector should stop such activity and shift the same to the appropriate sectors i.e. commercial, commercial pockets in industrial institutional area and specified pockets for commercial use within the residential sector, strictly earmarked for that activity in the development plan, regulations and provisions of the Act.
The verdict upheld the decision of the Allahabad High Court which had dismissed the bunch of petitions challenging the order of the Noida authority not permitting the use of residential plots for commercials purpose or mixed use.
Ray of hope!
The apex court on Monday also agreed to examine the 'legal validity' of the monitoring committee appointed by it to oversee the sealing of unauthorised business and commercial premises in residential localities. A bench of justices GS Singhvi and Swatanter Kumar agreed to examine the legality of the court-appointed panel after senior counsel Mukul Rohtagi, appearing for Hotel Ambassador, contended the restaurant which is facing threat of sealing and wanted to challenge the authority under which the monitoring committee was appointed by the apex court in 2006. The apex court also told MCD counsel Sanjib Sen to ensure that the sealing drive was not implemented by the monitoring committee till the next date of hearing in the first week of January 2012.