The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to stop for a week its ongoing drive for demolition of illegal constructions in the Vishwas Nagar area of East Delhi to enable residents to relocate.
A vacation bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Sanjay Karol, however, refused to interfere with the orders passed by the Delhi High Court permitting the DDA to go ahead with the removal of the encroachments.
High Court had allowed the demolition of over 800 alleged illegal dwelling units built on DDA land in the Vishwas Nagar area.
The Supreme Court today asked DDA to halt for a week its demolition drive on humanitarian grounds to enable residents, mostly slum dwellers, to evict on their own.
“If they don’t vacate by May 29, it would be open to DDA to resume their demolition activities. We order that for a period of seven days, no demolition activity shall be continued,” the bench said.
The Supreme court directed the counsel for the DDA to inform the authorities during the day to immediately stall the demolition drive.
The bench also sought a response from the DDA by the second week of July, on the issue of rehabilitation of those whose premises have been demolished.
The Supreme Court said will consider in July the issue of whether the residents, who are seeking to be removed from their dwelling units, are entitled to rehabilitation by the land-owning agency either under the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board Act or any other law.
The order of the Supreme Court came on a petition filed by some residents of the Kasturba Nagar area falling under the Vishwas Nagar locality, challenging the demolition notices issued by the DDA on May 18.
On March 14, the High Court refused to stall the demolition move of the DDA while agreeing with the plea of the land-owning agency that the residents were encroachers.