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This may interest a number of people.

James Cohen, PE
James Cohen Consulting, PC

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From: <vmscons(--nospam--at)>
To: <jccpc(--nospam--at)>
Sent: Thursday, April 21, 2005 03:09 PM
Subject: [SEFI] Download Supreme Court Notice on Unsafe Buildings

Dear All,

Sub : Download Supreme Court Notice on Unsafe Buildings

Recently there has been considerable commotion in the engineering profession
over a news item published in many newspapers about a public interest
petition (PIL) filed in the Supreme Court by the Society for Safe Structures
in Delhi.
As requested by many members the same has been put on the website, which may
be downloaded. Please visit the website : For giving
your views/ suggestions click on "Comments" on the website.

The respondents of this PIL filed under Article 32 of the Constitution of
India, are
1. Union of India
2. Ministry of Urban Development
3. Ministry of Human Resource Development
4. Delhi Development Authority
5. Municipal Corporation of Delhi
6. Bureau of Indian Standards
7. Council of Architecture
8. Institution of Engineers (India)
9. Consulting Engineers Association of India
10. Association of Consulting Civil Engineers (India)
11. Indian Association of Structural Engineers

The highlights of the PIL are :·

There is violation of fundamental right to life under Article 21 of the
Constitution of India·
Constitutionality and legality of actions taken by Respondent 1 and its
functionaries (Respondents 2-7) and inaction of Respondents 8-11, in
allowing continued construction of structurally unsafe buildings which are
unable to withstand earthquake forces and other natural hazards in the hands
of incapable and incompetent persons, has been questioned·

Collapse and damage to most recently constructed buildings could have been
prevented if prevalent Building Bye-laws / Development Regulations by
local/municipal bodies had been stringent and properly drafted with respect
to earthquake safety norms, guidelines, codes of practice and parameters of
safe design prescribed in the National Building Code had been adhered to·

National Building Code has not been made mandatory·

Structural Engineers have no legal responsibility for their design·
There is almost no involvement of qualified engineers in most building
design & construction in private sector·

DDA / MCD are aware of kingpin role of Structural Engineers but have evaded
the same for Delhi Building Bye-laws and favour architects·
Despite unambiguous and explicit purpose of Architects Act 1972, there is
negligent attitude and misuse of its constitutional and statutory duties &
powers SUPREME COURT PIL ON UNSAFE STRUCTURES The petitioner has requested
the Supreme Court to issue writs to :

1. Ensure respondents take appropriate actions;
2. Ensure implementation and enforcement of the National Building Code ;
3. Constitute a Committee to frame guidelines for preventive repair/
4. Constitute a Committee to frame guidelines for setting up Structural
Safety Commission;
5. Make appropriate Regulations & bring Techno-legal regime for safe, sound
and stable earthquake resistant buildings;
6. Include a chapter on safe & economic construction of buildings at 10 + 2
level as part of Social Studies curriculum;
7. Not to give effect to revision of Building Bye-laws till disposal of this
8. Quash sections 2(1) (xii) & 2 (1) (xvi) of Architects (Professional
Conduct) Regulations 1989;
9. Quash "Standard Scale of Remuneration for Architectural Services"
10. Quash "Guidelines for Architectural Competitions"11. CBI should enquire
into the conduct of Council of Architecture


Bhavin Shah
Hon. Secretary
IAStructE, Gujarat State Centre

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