The Delhi High Court has instructed both the police and the municipal body to maintain a strict watch and consistently act against any encroachments in the Chandni Chowk area.

A Division Bench of Justice Tushar Rao Gedela and Justice Ravinder Dudeja emphasized that the concerned authorities must uphold the directives of the Special Task Force (STF) on this matter. Additionally, the Assistant Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) for the relevant zone, along with the Station House Officers (SHOs) of Lahori Gate and Kotwali police stations, will be personally accountable if any encroachments persist or resurface.

This directive from the Court followed a plea by the Chandni Chowk Sarv Vyapar Mandal, urging measures to prevent unauthorized squatting and street vending in Chandni Chowk's designated zones.

Senior Advocate Sanjeev Ralli appeared for the Petitioners and Advocate Anuj Aggarwal appeared for the Respondents.

The Court said, "We are concluding this writ petition with a clear directive for the respondents to strictly follow the measures outlined by the STF in its December 7, 2023, minutes. Failure to adhere to these measures will be taken seriously by this court."

Furthermore, the Court emphasized the need for continuous vigilance. If any encroachments are detected or if they re-emerge, both the Assistant Commissioner of the MCD's respective zone and the SHOs of Lahori Gate and Kotwali will face accountability.

The Court highlighted that in response to its prior directives, the STF convened discussions on tackling illegal street vending and encroachments. The STF, which includes representatives from both the MCD and the police, decided on multiple actions, such as regular joint removal drives and enhanced surveillance. The STF also committed to ensuring adequate police presence during these drives and pledged to hold quarterly review meetings to monitor progress.

Lastly, recalling its earlier instructions to the SHO of Lahori Gate police station and the MCD Commissioner to uphold law and order, the Court stated, "We firmly believe that the SHO of the respective police station and the Assistant Commissioner of the relevant MCD zone must ensure diligent adherence to the STF's directives from December 7, 2023."

Cause Title: Chandni Chowk Sarv Vyapar Mandal (Regd.) v. Delhi Police & Ors.

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