7 Jun 2021 11:51 AM GMT
Observing that while their right to rehabilitation is yet to be determined, the Delhi High Court recently remarked that Dhobi Ghat Jhuggi Dwellers cannot be left on the streets to fend for themselves, finding themselves evicted from a place where they claim to have been living for the past two decades.Noting that due arrangements must be made immediately, the Bench of Justice Najmi...
Observing that while their right to rehabilitation is yet to be determined, the Delhi High Court recently remarked that Dhobi Ghat Jhuggi Dwellers cannot be left on the streets to fend for themselves, finding themselves evicted from a place where they claim to have been living for the past two decades.
Noting that due arrangements must be made immediately, the Bench of Justice Najmi Waziri directed the Delhi Government to make necessary arrangements for them and the costs of the same would be reimbursed by the DDA.
The matter before the Court
By way of a plea, the attention of the Court was drawn towards the living circumstances of the members of the petitioner-Union (Dhobhi Ghat Jhuggi Adhikar Manch) as their homes have allegedly been demolished and they are living in the most deplorable conditions without any sanitation, water supply or other amenities which are necessary for a respectable human existence.
It was argued that it was for the State to ensure that some arrangements are made before the rain sets in and that measures towards the betterment of health and hygiene standards are implemented, especially in view of the current pandemic.
The Standing Counsel for the DDA submitted that the cut-off date for eligibility for rehabilitation was January 1, 2006 and that members of the petitioner-Union were not residing in the land before the said date and that they are subsequent encroachers on the DDA's land and consequently, they have no right to rehabilitation.
However, the counsel for the petitioner submitted that as per the DUSIB's policy, the Delhi Slums and JJ Rehabilitation and Relocation Policy, 2015, no demolition of a JJ Basti in existence prior to January 1, 2015 is to be carried out by any land-owning agency without providing alternate rehabilitation to the evictees.
The Court observed that the pressing need of the day is the rehabilitation of members of the petitioner-Union, who are presently residing under tarpaulin sheets.
Further, directing the Delhi Government to make arrangements for their rehabilitation, DDA was also directed that it would be liable for the rehabilitation of the person who were uprooted/evicted, if its proven that they were residents on the land, prior to the cut-off date of 1st January 2006.
Therefore, the Deputy Commissioner (South)/Deputy Magistrate concerned was directed:
The Court has directed that the said arrangements be made on or before Tuesday, June 8, 2021.
Lastly, in view of the urgency of the matter and the need for provision of immediate essential services and rehabilitation of the residents of the evictees, at request, the matter was listed before the Vacation Bench on June 9, 2021.
Case title - Dhobhi Ghat Jhuggi Adhikar Manch v. Delhi Development Authority And Ors
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