Re: [mpisgmedia] PIL

"I want to a write a paper / series about this and
solicit co-authors and options to publish in
professional media for planners and lawyers in India) "
---I hereby offer to become proof Reader for the book as soon as it is
completed, or even in course, for I am neither Planner nor Laiar (Lawyer).
For Laiar ican suggest from experience Rajiv Nayar, and for Planner non
other than Suresh Kumar Rohilla from London. Will do???----Aruna B.

----- Original Message -----
From: Gita Dewan Verma <[email protected]>
To: Master plan issues in media <[email protected]>
Sent: Friday, December 24, 2004 7:21 PM
Subject: Re: [mpisgmedia] PIL

> --- prakash <[email protected]> wrote:
> >
> >
> > PIL- a tool to make money?
> ---
> The Hindu has a more detailed report:
> Basically, Supreme Court, dismissing an appeal against
> a judgment against an advocate caught taking "black
> mail" money in PIL, has reportedly asked High Courts
> to be careful while entertaining PIL and for copy of
> the order to be sent to Bar Council and Supreme Court
> Bar Association to help them take measures to expose
> the guilty.
> >From my experience of PIL (mainly by association with
> cases of clients synergizing on Master Plan
> Implementation Support Group on which I am Planner) I
> fear, on at least three counts, that this might help
> frivolous dismissals.
> One, in saying "the judiciary has to be extremely
> careful to see whether behind the beautiful veil of
> public interest an ugly private malice, vested
> interest or publicity seeking is not lurking", the
> Court has disregarded the absence of parameters for
> carefulness and the great deal of subjectivity (even
> prejudice) about vested interest that tend to favour
> certain types of PIL, not all genuine. Two, in
> describing the matter as "black spot on the noble
> profession" the Court has elevated to "noble" standing
> a profession at best associated with skill with law
> (not justice) and at worst called liars' profession
> and also suggested that lawyer-PIL is not central to
> but aberration in abuse of PIL, which leaves scope for
> privileging lawyer-PIL over others. Three, in saying
> "the concept of PIL was devised to help the judiciary
> in extending its long arm of sympathy to the poor,
> ignorant, oppressed and the needy", the court has
> (besides disregarding the rampant misuse of PIL
> against those whom it was to help) left room to favour
> PIL that finds resonance with the courts' subjective
> sympathy over PIL that seeks from them wholesome
> consideration of facts and law for justice.
> Even as it is expected and accepted that "culprits"
> will get away with less than deserved "punishment" and
> "exemplary punishment" will serve as deterrent just as
> much as it will serve as challenge to
> do-it-without-getting-caught, the court has
> highlighted only these, in vein of everyday
> "corruption" exposures that mainly / only increase
> tolerance thresholds. Even if the Bar lives up to the
> expectation that a copy of this order will help it
> expose the guilty in the occasional case, the fact
> remains that issues arising from "meddling with the
> judicial process" are not reducible to black sheep in
> Bar or Bench and go as far as undermining law itself,
> ie, nothing short of threat to sovereignty. This is
> beyond the ken of the Bar alone to deal with.
> About PIL on development planning issues I can say
> with confidence that simplistic (mis) interpretations
> relying on deeply flawed understanding of development
> law as some sort of penal code have left the PIL route
> wide open for any one wanting to subvert statutory
> solutions and entitlements to sustain problems and
> dis-empower citizens. I posit that such PIL will
> remain abuse prone as long as it remains "private"
> between Bench and Bar and, further, that this is
> contrary to development planning law on at least two
> counts. Firstly, the purpose of planning law is
> balanced development and the Master Plan balances all
> interests, whereas PIL relying on it is usually from a
> single perspective and marginalizes / is at cost of
> others' Plan entitlements, ie, contrary to the
> conflict-resolution purpose of the Plan. Secondly,
> such PIL seeks to modify Plan provisions or at least
> Plan implementation priorities and, since development
> law requires for Plan modification a process inclusive
> of mandatory Public Notice for objections and
> suggestions, curtails others' right to participate in
> development decisions.
> As such, PIL on development issues can be abuse-free
> only if it is: (a) primarily for enforcement of
> statutory Plan provisions for solutions /
> entitlements; (b) against Plan violations with
> specificity about the violations as well as about
> solutions / entitlements jeopardized / infringed; (c)
> inclusive enough to ensure all affected are adequately
> represented; (d) based on sufficient prior effort for
> clarity about the foregoing; and (e) complementary to,
> not conflicting with, the statutory Public Notice
> process.
> These parameters have guided all judicial engagements
> of MPISG (part of the comprehensive engagements since
> 1999-2000 on Delhi Master Plan revision and in public
> domain on the web). The MPISG matters cover all key
> aspects of the Plan - ridge, riverbed, heritage,
> housing, commerce, facilities, infrastructure, work,
> regional context - and the processes for its
> modification. On all these Plan issues there are also
> lawyer/NGO PIL and MPISG matters provide opportunity
> for comparison between two very different approaches
> to PIL on development issues. It is noteworthy that
> all MPISG matters have been "resisted" by respondents
> with adversarial, diversionary and dilatory tactics,
> non-compliance of orders, etc, and have found no space
> in politics or media, nor any exceptional sympathy
> from "judicial activism". Other PIL on the same issues
> have progressed well and returned orders (with MPISG
> matters sub-judice) that have led either to compliance
> or to policy / legislation in conflict with Master
> Plan / Delhi Development Act - to progressively build
> a fait-accompli for legitimising a wholly unlawful
> Plan revision.
> The course of Delhi Master Plan 2021 was charted, in
> consonance not with sovereign law but with global
> paradigm for city development strategy, in high-level
> "recommendations" of 1999, legitimised in 2000 through
> so-called study for infrastructure and environmental
> imperatives for Delhi 2021, funded by World Bank. In
> March 2003 CBI exposed the DDA scam, implicating also
> a sitting High Court judge (incidentally, in a matter
> also central to MPISG cases filed in August 2002). In
> June 2003 13th Lok Sabha Standing Committee for Urban
> Development invited views on DDA and received
> responses with requests for hearing on full range of
> Plan issues. In July 2003, NDA Urban Development
> Minister issued (with no basis in law)
> "recommendations" of 1999 as DMP-2021 "guidelines".
> The deal to host Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010
> was also struck and has been used since to black-mail
> the city to distort development priorities. In May
> 2004 the UPA government came into power with support
> of the Left and adopted a National Common Minimum
> Programme. MPISG identified areas of convergence
> between DMP and NCMP to seek support for lawful
> planned development in name of NCMP, to no avail,
> while NGOs seeking in name of NCMP continuation of
> policies floated with their support by the NDA have
> been successful. Parliamentary Standing Committee
> continues not to respond to requests for hearing of
> views it had invited in 2003. And on 22.12.2004, after
> a Consultative Committee meeting, UPA Urban
> Development Minister has announced finalizing in a
> month of draft DMP 2021 - in line, it can safely be
> bet, with "guidelines" decreed in 1999 and "issued" by
> hand of his NDA predecessor in 2003.
> Delhi Master Plan 2021 is poised to become text-book
> case of how "meddling with the judicial process" by
> abuse of PIL can lead to "meddling with the statutory
> planning process" by orders of the courts. The
> five-year long chronicle of its revision reveals, most
> of all, sure state of anomie, abetted by all,
> including quite significantly the courts. Pecuniary
> gains being made out of sweeping disregard of law seem
> trivial in comparison to its debilitating impact on
> polity. The crisis owes to drift from all mandates and
> seems driven by incompetence more than by opportunism,
> making for atrophy in institutions and, thereby,
> potential irrevocability of anomie.
> In this perspective the Apex Court's remarks about PIL
> are disappointing, but its order does open a window of
> opportunity that will hopefully be used.
> Gita Dewan Verma | Planner | 23.12.2004
> -----
> (I want to a write a paper / series about this and
> solicit co-authors and options to publish in
> professional media for planners and lawyers in India)
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Re: [mpisgmedia] PIL, Gita Dewan Verma
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