HC halts demolition of jhuggis in central Delhi’s Rajiv Gandhi Camp
Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva noted that neither the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board nor the Delhi Development Authority conducted any exercise to identify people eligible for rehabilitation
The Delhi high court halted the demolition of jhuggis or hutments (jhuggi/jhopdi/basti) at Rajiv Gandhi Camp, also known as T- Huts, near the police compound, at Teen Murti Marg, central Delhi.
On December 24, justice Sanjeev Sachdeva said neither the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) nor the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) conducted any exercise to identify people eligible for rehabilitation.
“In the meantime, respondents are restrained from taking any coercive action against the JJ Basti at Rajiv Gandhi Camp, Behind TP Lane, Mother Terressa Crescent, Delhi also known as T- Huts Near Police Compound, Teen Murti Marg, Central Delhi. Further, to avoid change of status and fresh encroachment, petitioners are directed to file the list of existing occupants along with the site plan of the cluster within two weeks,” the court said in an eight-page order.
Fourteen petitioners moved court against the demolition carried out by the authorities at the camps, contending that they have been residing in the area for several decades.
They claimed that no exercise has been carried out under the Delhi Slum and Jhuggi Jhopri Rehabilitation and Relocation Policy, 2015 to identify jhuggi dwellers eligible for relocation and rehabilitation. The counsel for the petitioners said that the nodal agency for carrying out the exercise is DUSIB and no such exercise has been carried out by them to relocate the residents.
Appearing for the DUSIB, its counsel said that in so far as the particular piece of land is concerned, they have not carried out any such exercise under the relocation policy of 2015. He submitted that the exercise of identifying eligible jhuggi dwellers is carried out by DUSIB only on receipt of a request from the agency concerned for relocation.
He also submitted that in so far as the central government land is concerned, the nodal agency to carry out the exercise under the relocation policy is DDA.
The court then issued a notice to DDA and sought its stand on the issue.
The counsel for New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) told the court that an exercise was carried out by their officials and only seven jhuggi dwellers were identified. However, he conceded that no such request was made to either DDA or DUSIB to carry out the exercise.
Taking note of the submissions, the court said that no proposal has been brought before DUSIB, nor an exercise carried out by the agency.
“In view of the errors pointed out in the conduct of survey and the alleged non compliance of the requisite steps, it is expedient to call for an affidavit from the authorities to show the steps followed and compliance with the procedure laid down in the Delhi Slum and Jhuggi Jhopri Rehabilitation and Relocation Policy, 2015,” the court said.
The matter will next be heard on January 21, 2022.