The court said the situation prevailing 25 years ago was bound to be changed as policies are "altered with the efflux of time" as per current scenario and requirements
“Change is inevitable”, the Delhi High Court has said while dismissing a PIL which sought that stalls at Dilli Haat here be allotted only for sale of handicrafts and handloom products and not for selling varieties of products and food, including Chinese.
A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar said the petition was a ‘publicity interest litigation’ as it wanted the authorities to restore the situation which was prevailing 25 years ago at Dilli Haat — an open-air food plaza cum crafts market — when it was set up to help craftsmen sell their products directly to customers without interference by middlemen.
The court said the situation prevailing 25 years ago was bound to be changed as policies are “altered with the efflux of time” as per current scenario and requirements. “Thus, change is inevitable,” it added. The bench left it to the wisdom of the Ministry of Textiles and the Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC) to decide “what should be the nature of Dilli Haat, to whom licences are to be given in Dilli Haat, what type of goods are to be displayed/sold and for what period the licences are to be given etc”.
“It is a policy decision to be taken by the respondents who are managing Dilli Haat. Policies are bound to be changed and altered with the efflux of time as per current scenario and requirements,” the bench further said adding that if the authorities wanted the sale of Thai food there instead of Chinese, then they can do so and the court will not interfere.”We see no reason to entertain this writ petition as this is not a ‘Public Interest Litigation’ at all. In fact, this is a ‘Publicity Interest Litigation’,” the court said and dismissed the plea by Dastakari Haat Samiti, an association representing craftspeople from across India.
It had contended that DTTDC did not have the authority to issue the Dilli Haat Operation and Management Rules 2006 giving to itself wide discretionary powers to allot stalls. It had also claimed that the DTTDC was also setting up temporary stalls in violation of the circular which governs the functioning of Dilli Haat.