NEW DELHI: Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri today faced the ire of the Supreme Court for his remarks that members of the top court-appointed monitoring committee on sealing in Delhi sat in air-conditioned rooms and had no understanding of the ground realities.
"We do not have common sense", an anguished bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said while referring to a media report of April in which Puri, the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister, had criticised the role of the monitoring committee in carrying out the sealing drive in the national capital.
According to the report, Puri had said the monitoring committee members "sit-in air conditioned rooms and have no understanding of the ground realities".
The bench also made it clear that the monitoring committee was working on the directions of the top court.
"We do not have common sense. We do not know how to work," it asked.
"Please ask him where should we get common sense. Is it available in the market? Ask him so that we can get some common sense also," the apex court told Additional Solicitor General A N S Nadkarni, who was appearing for the Centre.
"We are being told that we lack common sense. If something is there in the newspapers, you say it is false. That is why we do not have common sense," the bench said.
The observations were made when the court was hearing the matter relating to sealing of unauthorised constructions in Delhi.
The monitoring committee, comprising K J Rao, former advisor to the Election Commissioner, Bhure Lal, chairman of Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority and Major General (Retd) Som Jhingan, was set up on March 24, 2006, by the Supreme Court.
The top court is dealing with the issue relating to the validity of the Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Act, 2006 and subsequent legislations which protect unauthorised construction from being sealed.