Policy Analysis

The National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Ordinance 2020


Author: Shruti Majumdar, 3rd year student at Department Of Law,University Of Calcutta.

Introduction

On December 30, 2020, the National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 was passed by President Ram Nath Kovind. The National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second Act, 2011, is amended by this Ordinance.[1] The Act of 2011 remained in effect until December 31, 2020. This date has been extended until December 31, 2023, due to this Ordinance.[2]

Due to migration and other variables, the population of the National Capital Territory of Delhi has risen exponentially over a few decades. The National Capital Territory of Delhi covers 1484 square kilometres, with a population density of 9340 people per square kilometre. [3] Unauthorized colonies and illegal development have sprung up all over Delhi as a result of the constant flow of migration and the shortage of existing colonies at reasonable rates for various categories of inhabitants.

Residents in unlawful colonies lack official paperwork for their homes and are constantly threatened with eviction or freezing of illegal structures. Considering the living circumstances of the citizens of these illegal colonies and further facts , the National The Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second Act of 2011 was passed to protect the dwellers in such unauthorised colonies from demolition and to keep their homes secure. On December 30, 2020, the National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 was enacted to modify the National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second Act, 2011 and to extend the deadline from December 31, 2020 to December 31, 2023.

This National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020  aims to avoid legal action against residents of these colonies and to reduce hardship to Delhi residents in the event of eviction or sealing of their assets before the extended deadline of December 31, 2023.

Reason For The Ordinance

Because the Winter Session of Parliament could not be conducted in 2020 due to unprecedented reasons resulting from the Covid 19 pandemic, the Hon’ble President of India propagated the National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Ordinance on December 29, 2020, through authority vested on him by clause (1) of Article 123 of the Constitution.

The purpose of the National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 is to avoid disciplinary measures against residents of these colonies and to reduce inconvenience to the residents of Delhi in the case of  demolition  or seizing of the assets until the extended deadline of December 31, 2023.

Features Of The Ordinance

In National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second Act, 2011, the validity was until December 31, 2020 under Section 1, Sub-Section (4). This deadline has been extended until December 31, 2023, according to the Ordinance.

Section 3 of the National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second Act, 2011, provides for the regularisation of unlawful colonies, village abadi areas, and their expansions that existed on March 31, 2002 and were under development until June 1, 2014. According to the National Capital Territory of Delhi (Recognition of Property Rights of Residents in Unauthorized Colonies) Act, 2019, and the National Capital Territory of Delhi (Recognition of Property Rights of Residents in Unauthorized Colonies) Regulations, 2019, unauthorised colonies will be identified for regularisation. As a result, unlicensed colonies that existed on June 1, 2014, and (ii) had 50% development on January 1, 2015, would be qualified for regularisation. [4]

After the thirteenth paragraph in the Preamble, the Ordinance adds the following paragraph : “AND WHEREAS the policy with respect to the norms for godown clusters existing in non-conforming areas has been notified by the Central Government on 21st June, 2018.” [5]

Objectives

The main objective of passing the ordinance is to prolong the validity of the Act of 2011’s legality for three years, from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2023. This ordinance is issued in order to regularise unauthorised colonies in Delhi, in doing so, 1.35 million Delhi residents who live in unauthorized colonies will get their property rights restored. [6]

The primary objective of the time extension is not only to safeguard certain types of unauthorised advancements from punitive action in the National Capital Territory of Delhi, but also to issue the Government agencies time to finalise the norms, policy guidelines, and probable strategies, and perhaps even the orderly implementation of the plan.

The Act of 2011 remained applicable until December 31, 2020, but  it was required to continue protecting unlawful projects where suitable precautions had not yet been made. Since the Parliament was not in session and there was an urgent need for legislation in this respect, the President of India issued the National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 (Ordinance) on the 29th day of December, 2020.

The objectives of 2011 Act were as follows:

(i) relocating slum dwellers and Jhuggi-Jhopri clusters according to the provisions of the Master Plan for Delhi, 2021, and Delhi Shelter Improvement Board Act, 2010,

(ii) regularising unlawful colonies, village abadi areas (and their extensions),

(iii) drafting a policy for farm houses constructed beyond permissible building limits, and for all other areas of the National Capital Territory of Delhi, and

(iv) not taking any punitive action and reducing inconvenience to the residents of Delhi in case of any demolition or sealing of structures under the Master Plan for Delhi.

The 2011 Act also enabled for the legalisation of unauthorised colonies (i) that existed as of March 31, 2002, and (ii) that were under construction as of June 1, 2014. The Bill amends this to state that unauthorised colonies will be identified for regularisation in accordance with the National Capital Territory of Delhi (Recognition of Property Rights of Residents in Unauthorised Colonies) Act, 2019, and the National Capital Territory of Delhi (Recognition of Property Rights of Residents in Unauthorised Colonies) Regulations, 2019. As a result, illegal colonies that existed on June 1, 2014, and had fifty percent development as of January 1, 2015, will be eligible for regularisation.

The parliament recently passed the The National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which seeks to replace the National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 (Ordinance). This offers for a three-year extension of the validity of the Act of 2011 from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2023.

Options

(i) Although strides have been made in developing policies, procedures, and tactics for implementing the Act, additional time is required to adopt orderly arrangements in the National Capital Territory of Delhi in light of present practical realities. The world is in the midst of a deadly pandemic and Delhi is one of the worst hit places in the country. In between all this, it is almost near impossible to proceed with the job of legalising colonies and drafting paperwork for the same. An immense amount of additional time would be required for this to be conducted instead of just a three year extension. There are around 1700 unregularised colonies in Delhi, regularising such a large number of colonies would require much more time.

(ii) Population explosion is a huge problem for India. India has a population of over 138 crore, [7] whereas Delhi has a population of around 16.8 million, making it the second most populous city globally.[8] The devastatingly growing population is the pivotal reason giving rise to the issue of illegal colonies in the first place. Migration of more people should be strictly checked to begin with in the first place. As a result of the constant flow of migration and a scarcity of existing colonies at affordable rates for all kinds of occupants, unlicensed colonies and illegal development have sprang up all across Delhi. Keeping a check on this issue will prevent the extra hussle of the government.

(iii) The entire process of regularising unlawful colonies that already exist is a huge task in hand. This needs time and most definitely needs money. More and more funds should be spared from the government for the efficient and quicker process of regularising illegal colonies.


References

[1]The National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020,PRS Legislative Research https://prsindia.org/billtrack/the-national-capital-territory-of-delhi-laws-special-provisions-second-amendment-ordinance-2020.

[2] Supra note 1.

[3] Delhi, Wikipedia (Jul.,6, 2021, 06:05 pm), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delhi.

[4] The National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 (Jan.,2021) http://164.100.47.193/Refinput/New_Reference_Notes/English/18012021_153502_1021205239.pdf.

[5] Supra note 4.

[6] Rajya Sabha Passes Bill to Protect Delhi’s Unauthorised Colonies, The Wire (Feb., 11, 2021)

https://thewire.in/government/rajya-sabha-passes-bill-to-protect-delhis-unauthorised-colonies.

[7]Population of India in 2021, India Online Pages (Jul., 9, 2021) https://www.indiaonlinepages.com/population/india-current-population.html.

[8] Delhi, Wikipedia (Jul.,6, 2021, 06:05 pm), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delhi.

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