In a relief to thousands of street vendors facing eviction threat, the Delhi government asked the three municipal corporations, New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and Delhi Cantonment Board (DCB) not to take action against them till Diwali.
The decision was taken at a meeting of top PWD and revenue department officials.
A senior government official said following the meeting, PWD minister Satyendra Jain issued the order that no hawker should be removed during the festival season.
“An opinion has been sought from the legal department on the issue which has arisen following the recent high court order,” the official said.
“The court allowed the civic agencies to remove street vendors from designated ‘no-squatting zones’. This was an interim order, so the government also sought to know what options would be available if an adverse judgment is passed by the court,” he said.
“The legal opinion will also make it clear whether the civic agencies and police have misinterpreted the order,” he added.
The high court had, on October 5, ruled that no street vendor should be evicted from city roads without due process of law but the order will not be applicable on non-hawking zones. A day after the order, the civic authorities carried out a drive against hawkers in several markets, including Vasant Kunj, Lajpat Nagar, Sarojini Nagar, and Karol Bagh.
Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken, who is also a petitioner in the matter, also alleged that the municipal corporations of Delhi and the city police had been harassing vendors under the grab of the order. He said within three days, more than 10,000 street vendors had been illegally evicted despite the fact that the Town Vending Committees have not identified ‘no vending zones’, as per the mandate of the Street Vendor Act 2014 .
The Delhi Rehri-Patri Congress announced on Wednesday to hold demonstration at 12 zonal corporation office, the headquarters of the NDMC and Delhi Police against the eviction drive and harassment. The protest will be led by Maken.