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Delhi High Court To Hear Pleas Challenging Vires Of 'Street Vendors Act 2014' On A Day To Day Basis

Nupur Thapliyal
24 Jan 2022 2:38 PM GMT
Delhi High Court To Hear Pleas Challenging Vires Of Street Vendors Act 2014 On A Day To Day Basis
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The Delhi High Court on Monday said that it will hear a clutch of petitions challenging the vires of Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014 on a day to day basis. "Since the matter has already been hanging from a long time, we propose to take up the hearing in the petitions on a day to day basis," Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Jasmeet Singh...

The Delhi High Court on Monday said that it will hear a clutch of petitions challenging the vires of Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014 on a day to day basis.

"Since the matter has already been hanging from a long time, we propose to take up the hearing in the petitions on a day to day basis," Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Jasmeet Singh said while posting the matter for hearing tomorrow.

While the petitioners and the Central Government have concluded their arguments in the matter, the Delhi Government is yet to make its submissions.

Today, the Court said that it would first hear Senior Advocate Rahul Mehra appearing for the Delhi Government on the issue raised by the petitioners with regards to the actual constitution of town vending committees by the GNCTD by way of issuance of certain orders.

The petitioners have argued that the constitution of the TVCs is not in accordance with Section 22 of the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014 read with Rule 12 of the Delhi Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Rules, 2017.

"In this regard, we have also required the GNCTD to produce the records relating to the constitution of TVCs. This is the aspect in which we would first like to hear Mr. Mehra," the Court said.

Furthermore, the Court also took note of the earlier arguments raised before it by the petitioners and Central Government.

The bench said that the arguments have been raised on the constitutional challenge to the enactment of Act of 2014 on the ground of competence of the parliament to enact the law by reference to separate entries in three lists mentioned in the seventh schedule read with Article 246 of the Constitution of India.

On the said aspect, the Court noted, that Senior Advocate Sanjeev Ralli appearing for the petitioners as well Kirtiman Singh appearing for the Centre have made their submissions.

"We have requested Mr. Mehra not to take the trouble of addressing any submission on this aspect since we do not consider it necessary after hearing Kirtiman Singh," the Court recorded.

Furthermore, the Court said that the second issue raised by Mr. Ralli was with respect to the statutory scheme of constitution of TVCs under sec. 22 of the Act and Rule 12 of the Rules.

"The submission of Mr. Ralli has been that the said scheme gives over weightage to the representation of Street vendors in the TVC which, according to him, is illegal. On this aspect, we have requested Mr. Mehra to address submissions in the end," the Court said.

Earlier, Ralli appearing for the petitioners had pointed out several irregularities in the constitution of TVCs. He had submitted that there are more than 20 TVCs in the city and some of the organisations nominated under the aforesaid categories were common in different zones.

Street Vendors Scheme Of 2019 Is Arbitrary; Pays No Heed To Delhi Master Plan/ Zonal Plan: Petitioners Tell Delhi High Court

He had argued that the Delhi Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Scheme of 2019 makes no reference to any of the clause or chapter of the master plan or zonal plan of any area, as if there was no law on the regulation of street vending.

Previously, the Court had called for a meeting with all the stakeholders including the Chairpersons of all the three Municipal Corporations, New Delhi Municipal Council, the Delhi Cantonment Board and the concerned Director of the DDA to work out the implementation of the Street Vendors Act.

It had however made it clear that it is not against vendors or squatting activities. "We're not against squatters; they are an essential part of our community. They are honest people, haven't taken law in their own hands, are not snatching chains. They're trying to make out a living for themselves and their families. They are our citizens; our people," it had remarked.

Earlier, the bench had expressed its displeasure over the fact that there are no experts in the Town Vending Committee and that it would like to hear the challenge so as to ascertain the flaws and the fallacies in the implementation process.

It had also rapped the Delhi Government over the implementation of the Act, stating, "No more of politics, populism…Please get down to some real work."

Case Title: New Delhi Traders Association v. GNCTD

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