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"We Talk About Making Delhi Like London But How Will We Achieve That?": Delhi HC To Hear Plea Challenging 'Street Vendors Act'

Sparsh Upadhyay
25 Oct 2021 9:14 AM GMT
We Talk About Making Delhi Like London But How Will We Achieve That?: Delhi HC To Hear Plea Challenging Street Vendors Act
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The Delhi High Court today decided to hear the plea challenging the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014 on October 30 while wondering as to how are we going to make Delhi like London, without focusing on the planning aspect of the city.The Bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Jasmeet Singh observed thus while hearing a bunch of pleas filed...

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The Delhi High Court today decided to hear the plea challenging the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014 on October 30 while wondering as to how are we going to make Delhi like London, without focusing on the planning aspect of the city.

The Bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Jasmeet Singh observed thus while hearing a bunch of pleas filed by the street vendors of Delhi seeking various benefits (like regularisation) in connection with the Street Vendors Act, and also a plea challenging the Street Vendors Act itself.

While observing that street vending provides employment to many, especially from the lower strata of the society, the Court stressed upon balancing of rights of those who rent shops, people who go for marketing, and the street vendors.

Earlier, during the course of the hearing in September 2021, the Court had observed that the scheme of the Street Vendors Act and the Rules framed thereunder greatly tilts the balance to encourage street vending. Today, while hearing the matter, the Court reiterated the same view.

Further, referring to places like Nehru place and Cannaught place, the Court orally observed thus:

"You can't even walk in Connaught Place as there are Vendors occupying the space, it has become a business. In Nehru Place, you can't even walk as street vendors have made it their permanent place of business. We had to take Suo moto cognizance of an incident of fire at Nehru Place, the matter is presently before Justice Manmohan. The condition of Nehru place market is like a slum. The need is to decide on the number of permissible vendors in a particular area while taking into account the plan of the place."

Against this backdrop, the Court orally observed that it will look into the challenge to the Street Vendors Act, 2014 since it is willing to take the bull by the horns. However, Justice Vipin Sanghi clarified that the Court was not against street hawking and that it wasn't the case of adverse litigation.

"We all have grown up buying from street hawkers, we still go to Kirana shops, street food vendors for our day-to-day needs. We don't go to malls for that. Nobody is against the street hawkers, we just want that city is not unreasonably crowded due to them. If we find the act to be alright, we will give a go-ahead, if we find shortcomings, we will give suggestions."

Sr. Adv. Colin Gonsalves, who was appearing for the impleader argued that the Street Vendors Act, 2014 is a marvelous piece of legislation, however, he agreed that its implementation was not being done properly.

The Court has asked him to put forth his views during the course of the hearing on the plea challenging the Act and scheme of the Act. 

Read as to what happened during the course of the previous hearing here: Delhi High Court To Examine If The 'Street Vendors Act' Compromises With The Aspects Of Planned Development Of Cities/Towns

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