The Supreme Court on Tuesday prohibited any further unauthorised construction in 1,797 illegal colonies in Delhi and asked the Centre to immediately form a special task force to remove encroachments from public roads and pavements, PTI reported. The court also questioned the intent of authorities in regularising colonies with illegal constructions.

Bye-laws on buildings in the city do not apply to constructions in unauthorised colonies, amicus curiae Ranjit Kumar said, adding that such constructions should be stopped. “They cannot become lawless,” he told the bench of justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta. “There is lawlessness in these colonies today.”

These observations were made as the Supreme Court was hearing a case related to the validity of the Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Act, 2006, which protects unauthorised slums and colonies in Delhi. In December, the Parliament had extended the protection the act provides to such colonies for three more years.

No area in the national Capital can be without the rule of law, the top court said on Tuesday. The special task force that the Centre sets up should oversee that laws are enforced on unauthorised constructions, the bench added.

Kumar said such constructions put a strain on civic amenities such as roads, sewage and power supply. He said even if the state government wants to regularise the unauthorised colonies, “there should be some sanctity”.

“By regularising them [illegal constructions], you will say that whatever illegal they have done will be regularised,” the bench told civic bodies. “You cannot have an area where there is no rule of law. Here, there are over 1,700 colonies.”

The counsel for the Delhi Development Authority said building bye-laws would be implemented in such colonies before they are regularised.