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Authorities playing with citizens' lives: SC on fire safety in Khan Market

The bench made this observation while hearing a matter related to sealing of unauthorised constructions in the national capital

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Khan market
Khan market, New Delhi | Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Authorities are "playing with the lives of citizens" by not enforcing fire safety measures in restaurants operating in Delhi's posh Khan market, the said Wednesday while observing that court orders impacting the rich don't get implemented.

"Where it relates to the poor people, the orders are implemented and where it relates to the rich people, it is not implemented. This is not fair," said a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur, and

The bench made this observation while hearing a matter related to sealing of unauthorised constructions in the capital.

During the hearing, the bench asked (ASG) A N S Nadkarni, appearing for the Centre, to find out from special task force (STF) as to what they were doing about

STF was constituted in April following the apex court's order to oversee enforcement of laws on illegal construction and monitor the removal of encroachments.

After taking instructions, Nadkarni said there were two aspects about Khan market, one related to encroachment there and other about fire safety.

He said the authorities were awaiting the guidelines on fire safety aspect.

The bench observed that restaurants having sitting capacity of over 50 needed fire clearance and there was a tendency to keep the official capacity below 50 to avoid this clearance.

"Do you want a repeat of what had happened in This is playing with the lives of citizens. If God forbid, something happens there, what will you do," the bench said.

"There is a different law for rich and different law for poor," the bench said.

When Nadkarni said, "law is the same", the bench observed, "but its interpretation are different".

On December 29 last year, a massive fire had swept through two roof-top pubs - Mojos Bistro and 1Above - in Kamala Mills compound in central Mumbai, killing 14 people.

The top court is seized of the issues related to validity of Laws (Special Provisions) Act, 2006 and subsequent legislations, which protect unauthorised constructions from being sealed in the capital.

First Published: Wed, December 05 2018. 19:40 IST
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