Bombay high court restricts civic body, police from taking action against 200 hawkers at Musafirkhana
Mumbai city news: The hawkers, most of whom have been selling fabric and cutlery in the area for generations, had approached a vacation bench of the court challenging a demolition order issued by the Lokayukta’s office in Januarymumbai Updated: May 30, 2017 00:03 IST
The Bombay high court on Monday refrained the police and the civic authorities from taking action against 200 hawkers at Musafirkhana near Crawford Market.
The hawkers, most of whom have been selling fabric and cutlery in the area for generations, had approached a vacation bench of the court challenging a demolition order issued by the Lokayukta’s office in January.
On January 31, the Lokayukta initiated a suo moto inquiry and ordered the police to initiate against the stalls saying that the owners had illegally extended their shops and encroached upon footpaths on either side of the roads, which obstructed traffic in the area. The Lokayukta had asked the police to take appropriate action within four weeks.
While the police did not act upon the orders immediately, they started visiting the area from May and allegedly threated hawkers to shut shop. The hawkers, who approached the court through their counsels Satish and Pradnya Talekar, argued that demolition of their stalls would violate their rights to life, dignity and earn a livelihood.
They also challenged the validity of the Lokayukta order, arguing that it could only make recommendations to the police or the civic bodies. But lacked the power to issue direct orders. The hawkers also argued that the Lokayukta had issued the demolition order without granting them a hearing. The petitioners also said that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had not conducted any independent inquiry into the allegations of encroachment.
The court is likely to take up the matter for further hearing on June 5 .