Friday, March 5, 2021
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16 slum dwellers want to be impleaded in jhuggis removal case

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court has been approached by 16 slum dwellers seeking impleadment in the MC Mehta case in which a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra had ordered removal of jhuggis near the New Delhi area, to address environment related issues.

The applicants have prayed in their petition that the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Trust (DUSIB) be directed to conduct a demand survey of the JJ clusters, undertaking in-situ redevelopment and rehabilitation.

The application has been filed by Advocate on Record, Lubna Naaz and Advocate Dr Ragini Nayak. Senior Advocate Salman Khurshid will appear on behalf of the impleaders.

The petitioners have submitted that among the total 196 JJ clusters on the land of DUSIB, MCD and Govt. of NCT and its agencies, demand surveys of total 158 JJ clusters have been completed leaving 38 JJ Clusters. However, without completing the rest survey affected parties cannot be rehabilitated.

They have further submitted that they are working along the markets and industries near their residence and this eviction make them unable to earn their bread or other necessities of livelihood.

They contend that they did not even get the opportunity to be heard before the court to present their case before the order was passed. They have submitted that in 2016, the Director of the Railway Board had promised that no demolition would be carried out by them without joint notice by the representatives of DUSIB and Railways and without Rehabilitation plan for eligible JJ dwellers.

However, the eviction order of the apex court deprives them of such benefit.

Moreover, they submitted, the United Nations Human Rights Special Procedures’ COVID-19 Guidance Note categorically mentioned that the States must

“Declare an end to all evictions of anyone, anywhere for any reason until the end of the pandemic and for a reasonable period of time thereafter… in conformity with their obligations under human rights law.”

-India Legal Bureau

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