Haldwani Evictions| Supreme Court Grants 8 Weeks Time To Railways To Work Out Rehabilitation Solution

Update: 2023-02-07 09:29 GMT

In pleas challenging the order of the Uttarakhand High Court directing removal of occupants from lands claimed by the Railways in Haldwani, the Supreme Court, on Tuesday, granted the State and the Railway authorities eight weeks’ time to work out a solution, inter alia, for rehabilitation of the occupants.

On the last occasion, while granting stay on the order of the High Court, the Supreme Court had asked Additional Solicitor General, Ms. Aishwarya Bhati to consider how land can be made available to the Railways, alongside looking into the aspect of rehabilitation.

“We have put to Ld. ASG that look may be had to the methodology of achieving the purpose of the requisite land being made available to the Railways coupled with the rehabilitation of the persons in the area”, the Court had recorded in the order.

The Court had further asked the State and the Railways to find practical solutions. Justice Oka had emphasised, "Find out some solution. It is a human issue". Justice Kaul had told the State, "State of Uttarakhand has to find a practical solution".

On Monday, at the request of Ms. Bhati, a Bench comprising Justice S.K. Kaul and Justice Manoj Misra passed the following order -

“Ld. ASG submits that 8 weeks time be given to work out a solution as indicated on the last date. The request is acceded to. List on 2nd May, 2023.”

Senior Advocate, Mr. Colin Gonsalves indicated that the problem in Haldwani is artificially created and can be solved instantly if Counsels for the parties sit together and brainstorm. Justice Kaul encouraged the approach and asked him to initiate the process as a senior member of the Bar.


Based on the order of the High Court, the concerned authorities had issued eviction notices to over 4000 families, who claim that they have been residing in the area for years based on valid documents recognized by the government authorities. When the matter came up before the Supreme Court, it had issued notice to the State of Uttarakhand and the Railways and had stayed the High Court’s order observing, “...there cannot be uprooting of 50,000 people in 7 days”.

On the last date of hearing, the Supreme Court was particularly concerned with the fact that many of the occupants have been residing there for decades claiming rights on the basis of leases and auction purchases.

The petition highlights that the petitioners are poor people who have been lawful residents of Mohalla Nai Basti, Haldwani district for more than 70 years. As per the petitioner, the Uttarakhand High Court ordered the summary eviction of more than 20,000 people residing in more than 4000 houses despite the fact that proceedings regarding the title of the residents were pending before the district magistrate. It is stated that the names of local residents are entered in the municipal records of the house tax register and that they have been paying house tax regularly for years. Further, there are 5 government schools, one hospital and two overhead water tanks in the area. It is further stated that the long settled physical possession of the petitioners and their ancestors, some even prior to the date of Indian independence, has been recognized by the State and its agencies and they have been given gas and water connections and even Aadhaar card numbers accepting their residential addresses.

[Case Title: Abdul Mateen Siddiqui v. UoI And Ors. Diary No. 289/2023]

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