The Supreme Court today heard a plea filed against the judgment of the High Court of Delhi whereby the Division Bench had refused to interfere with the orders passed by the learned single judge declining to provide relief of rehabilitation/ relocation of the Slum Dwellers residing in Jhuggis of Sarojini Nagar, New Delhi.
A Bench of the Apex Court comprising of Justice K. M. Joseph and Justice Hrishikesh Roy recorded the statement of Additional Solicitor General K. M. Nataraj that no coercive action will be taken till the next date of hearing.
Senior Advocate Vikas Singh appearing for the petitioner submitted that the people have been living there since 1995 and 1996 and that approximately 1000 people will be uprooted from there. He submitted that, "If you evict us from here we will relocate somewhere else, they are working in this city, they have to go somewhere, they have to live somewhere they can't be asked to just vanish into thin air".
ASG K. M. Nataraj submitted that the residents have certain official documents given to them for purpose of elections, which do not confer them any right. The Court granted the Additional Solicitor General time to look into the documents and listed the matter on Monday.
The Petitioner had in the petition submitted that they along with about 1000 persons, about 200 families, have been residing in the said Jhuggis for more than four decades i.e. since the 1980s. The residents of the said jhuggis are extremely indigent persons such as dhobis, daily wage laborers, rag pickers, maids, street vendors etc. and they do not have any other source of residence.
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, as per the petition.
The petitioners have contended that the Delhi High Court had not considered that the order for demolition was in violation of the precedents that had been laid down by the High Court and the laws that had been laid down in the DUSIB 'Protocol' for 'Removal of Slums' and the Delhi Slum Rehabilitation Policy, 2015. The petitioners have sought a stay of the order of the High Court.