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SC dismisses writ against Vasant Kunj mall

By Our Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI, MARCH 8. The Supreme Court today dismissed a writ petition filed by a former Member of Parliament against auctioning of commercial plots of the proposed Vasant Kunj Mall for lack of environmental clearance. The court had earlier clarified on February 23, 2004 that there is no interim order and the respondent is free to deal with the land.

It had been alleged by the petitioners in the Civil Writ No. 564/2003 that Delhi Development Authority had not taken steps for taking clearance from environmental authorities and necessary measures for checking pollution in respect of the proposed mall. Apprehensions had also been cast regarding availability of water at Vasant Kunj.

In a press note, DDA said it had conducted an auction on December 15, 2003 for six commercial plots at Vasant Kunj Mall in Vasant Kunj Phase II. These commercial plots were to be developed for shopping malls, offices, guest houses and entertainment complexes. There was an overwhelming response from the buyers and six plots were sold at a bid price of Rs 1,103 crores against a reserve price of Rs 560 crores.

Among the successful bidders, DDA said, were Maruti Udyog Limited, ONGC Videsh Limited and Regency Park Maintenance Services Private Limited. The authority said as Vasant Kunj Mall is spread over 92 hectares, it had right in the beginning clarified that there is no bar on the development except that the lessee/auction purchaser would be required to obtain necessary clearance for the project from the Delhi Pollution Control Committee and the Environmental Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority.

Stating that this had been explained to the intending bidders in the auction hall before the commencement of the auction, DDA said the status of water availability and other issues were also clarified before the plots went on auction.

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