Almost three years after the Delhi high court declared impounding cycle rickshaws and harassing their owners and pullers as illegal, their plight continues unabated with municipal authorities allegedly devising new ways to fleece them.
The court had on February 10, 2010 ordered that there could be no curb on the number of licences issued to cycle-rickshaw pullers as it would be against their right to earn livelihood. The HC had declared as illegal impounding of rickshaws by the police and municipal authorities.
After Manushi, an NGO, brought the violation of the order to the court's notice, the HC on June 2, 2012 set up a legal mechanism to look into the alleged illegal activities of the erstwhile MCD by establishing a court presided over by retired Additional District Judge Bharat Bhushan, designated as an enquiry officer.
On Tuesday, appearing as a witness before Bhusan, Manushi founder Madhu Kishwar said the civic body's officials continued to flout the HC order. She said a section of the municipal authorities were acting as "Extortionist mafia".
Kishwar alleged that there were illegal rickshaw yards for dumping confiscated rickshaws, MCD officials issued bogus passing receipts and took direct bribes.