The Bombay high court on Monday directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to take action against unauthorised Shiv Vada Pao stalls – sponsored by Shiv Sena, the ruling ally in Maharashtra, across the city.
A division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice MS Sonak directed the civic body to treat the public interest litigation filed by Janseva Mandal, an NGO, as its representation and within three months take action on it in terms of judgment delivered by another division bench in October 2015 in the Vile Parle Kelwani Mandal’s case.
In its PIL, the NGO had sought action against illegal hawking introduced under the political patronage of the ruling ally, Shivsena. Its counsel, advocate Umesh Mohite, pointed out to the bench that there were more than 250 illegal Shiv Vada Pao stalls across the city and almost all were being run without obtaining prior permissions or licenses from the BMC.
Mohite also talked about the judgment in the Vile Parle Kelwani Mandal case which contended the fact that despite a comprehensive judgment on illegal hawking by another bench, the civic body had not taken any action against the vada-pao stalls.
In the judgment pronounced in October 2015, a bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka held that licenses under various statutes are required for preparation of food items on the street, and therefore, persons selling food on roads are not protected under the Street Vendors Act. This initiated the removal of such vendors.
The bench headed by the Chief Justice has now asked the BMC to take action on the PIL filed by Janseva Mandal in terms of this judgment.