Court raps DM , SP for breaking Shimla Mall core area laws

Shimla : After a reckless decision by the local administration to allow tourist vehicles to be parked in the no-vehicle core area of the Mall on new year’s eve the Himachal Pradesh high court today hauled up the Shimla district magistrate(DM) and superintendent of police(SP).

The court’s green bench comprising of Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Sanjay Karol ruled , “ We are shocked to find on 31 Dec , 2011 , vehicles were parked on the sealed and restricted areas .”

No-more-a-walkers-zone

“Not only this , vehicles were also parked in the core area of Shimla town from Shimla club to the Lift . There was in fact double parking on this road . We were told orders were passed by the DM and SP Shimla permitting tourists to park their vehicles on these roads.”

“Prime facie, we are of the view that any such permission was in total contravention of the act . All officials of the state are bound by the Constitution of India and the laws framed .”

“It is only the state government which may in public interest relax any of the provisions of the act for reasons to be recorded in writing for a period not exceeding seven days at at a time .”

“This power of relaxation is not even available to the state as far as the core Mall road is concerned . If the state does not have the power to relax the provisions for the core Mall road area , we fail to understand how the DM or the SP could have relaxed the provisions of the act and granted permission to the tourists to park their vehicles in the core Mall road area .”

The court further said it is expected that officials , especially the DM and the SP enforce the law . It is not expected that they should themselves start violating the law and encourage violations of the law .

“We therefore direct the DM, SP Shimla to be present in the court on 13 Jan on which they shall produce the entire record and shall also file written replies stating under what circumstances they passed such orders and permitted the vehicles to be parked in sealed and restricted roads and the core Mall road area .”

In a 20 year career published widely. He has worked for the BBC, AFP, The Statesman, IANS and the Business Standard . Known for his hard hitting writing and occasional off-beat stories. He lives in Shimla.

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