Aug 3, 2022
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It is not acceptable to remove a person overnight by DDA:Delhi High Court.
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A bench of Justice Subramonium Prasad said,'It is not acceptable to remove a person overnight whom the DDA claims to be an encroacher. Furthermore, A reasonable period has to be given to such persons and temporary location has to be provided to them before embarking any demolition activity'.It directed DDA to give sufficient time to dwellers to make alternate arrangements.The court directed to take steps to accommodate the dwellers in shelters provided by DUSIB for 3months so that persons,who jhuggis are being demolished,are able to find alternate accommodations.The order has passed in petition filed by Shakarpur Slum Union alleging that DDA officials,on June 25 without any notice arrived at area and demolished about 300 jhuggis.In petition filed by advocate Kawalpreet Kaur it argued that JJ Basti in Shakarpur has been in existence since 1980 and most of residents are migrants from Bihar,UP and Bengal who are labourers, ragpickers, rickshaw-pullers, auto drivers.The DDA in response told court that demolition was carried out at distance from those mentioned in list of clusters published by DUSIB forrehabilitation and in compliance with orders of NGT.Justice Prasad said encroachment on government land cannot be said to be fundamental right of any person and people encroaching cannot claim to be entitled to rehabilitation as matter of right in absence of any policy.However,while taking note of observations made in earlier decision of HC,the court said it is not uncommon to find jhuggi dwellers desperately trying to save whatever precious little belongings and documents they have,when bulldozer lands at their doorstep.Taking note of DUSIB's policy,under which it is ensured that no demolition takes place when academic year is about to end,or during monsoons,Justice Prasad said the court expects the DDA to follow similar norms.However,the court declined to pass any order to stop DDA action against the unauthorised jhuggis."As the NGT has assumed jurisdiction of sensitive issue pertaining to resuscitation and rejuvenation of Yamuna floodplains,this court does not deem it appropriate to disturb the same by way of a mandamus to DDA to allow DUSIB to conduct a survey".Directing Delhi Development Authority to go ahead with demolition of unauthorised jhuggis on Yamuna floodplains only in consultation with Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board the Delhi HC said people cannot be evicted with a bulldozer at their doorsstep early in the morning or late in the evening,without any notice rendering them completely shelterless.