Supreme Court Directs To Stop Slum Dwellers’ Eviction In Delhi’s Sarojini Nagar

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The Supreme Court on Monday directed not to take any coercive action relating to the removal of ‘jhuggis’ in Sarojini Nagar area of the national capital until further orders.

A bench of Justice KM Joseph and Justice Hrishikesh Roy also issued to the Centre and others on plea challenging the Delhi High Court order which declined to provide rehabilitation or relocation of the slum dwellers residing in ‘jhuggis’ of Sarojini Nagar.

The Court was hearing a petition filed by ‘jhuggi’ dwellers from Sarojini Nagar against the eviction orders without rehabilitation of slum dwellers.

Senior Advocate Vikash Singh, appearing for the petitioner, raised the issue that thousands of people will lose their shelter and urged that there must some scheme for rehabilitation.

Senior Advocate Singh also mentioned that board exams are starting tomorrow.

The Court has listed the matter for further hearing next Monday.

The petition was filed by minor Vaishali, through next friend Sita Devi and others. The plea was filed by advocate Nitin Saluja. The petitioner has urged the Supreme Court to grant special leave to appeal the final order and judgment dated April 19, 2022, passed by the High Court of Delhi.

The present Special Leave Petition (SLP) has been filed by the petitioners against the final order and judgment dated April 19, 2022 (Impugned order) passed by the Division Bench of the High Court of Delhi, wherein the High Court had refused to interfere with the order dated April 11, 2022, passed by the Single Judge of Bench of Delhi High Court.

The Delhi High Court has declined to provide rehabilitation or relocation of the slum dwellers residing in the ‘jhuggis’ of Sarojini Nagar. The petitioner said that about 1,000 people and about 200 families have been residing in the said shanties for more than four decades ie since the 1980s.

“Hence, the courts below have allowed the demolition of jhuggis or eviction of the slum dwellers as per the order dated April 4, 2022, issued by the respondent, and no alternative arrangements have been made for the said indigent and poor slum dwellers,” read the petition.

The petitioners said that they do not seek to hinder any of the development work or public projects undertaken by the Government but are only seeking rehabilitation or relocation as per the policies of the State.

The petitioners further said that the forced eviction of jhuggi residents in question, will permanently disrupt and destroy the lives of jhuggi dwellers, as about 200 families, including children, elderly and women (including pregnant women) will be forcibly thrown on the streets, without any alternate accommodation.

The residents of the said jhuggis are extremely indigent persons such as dhobis, daily wage labourers, rag pickers, maids, street vendors etc. and they do not have any other source of residence, the petition read.

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