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Delhi HC denies to intervene in demolition of slum near Pragati Maidan

Delhi High Court. Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, May 2 : The Delhi High Court on Tuesday declined to intervene in the demolition of jhuggis (slum) close to Pragati Maidan and gave the residents of those structures one month to vacate.

Authorities may take action for demolition after May 31, said Justice Prathiba M. Singh, making it clear that the petitioners must be given alternative housing in a shelter home in accordance with applicable norms.

Residents in their petitions have challenged a demolition notice that was issued to them earlier this year.

The court said: “The petitioners are given a month’s time to move to the shelter home as per applicable norms. After May 31, the authorities may take action for demolition. By the said date, all belongings of the petitioners will be removed.”
The court noted that the jhuggis, which were on the side of Bhairon Marg, were not part of a “notified cluster” by the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) and therefore, no rehabilitation can be directed and that the structures in question were also at “considerable distance” from the recognised jhuggi cluster in the area.

Recording that the sketch placed on record shows that the petitioners’ jhuggis are on the roadside of Bhairon Marg, the court said that since they are not part of the recognised jhuggi, it was not inclined to intervene with the demolition or eviction.

It said: “The clear position in law as of today is that unless and until a jhuggi is part of a recognised cluster of DUSIB, no rehabilitation can be directed. Moreover, in this case, there is no doubt that the present jhuggi is not part of the recognised basti as map submitted by the respondent shows there is a considerable distance between recognised basti which shows dense cluster unlike the location of the petitioner where there are some scattered jhuggis.”
By staying the demolition of the slum in February, the court had sought the stand of the Central and Delhi government authorities in this matter.

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