INC’s Ajay Maken Moves SC Against Order To Demolish 48,000 Jhuggis Without Provisions To Rehabilitate 2.4 Lakh Affected Dwellers

The Supreme Court observed that a contract is void if prohibited by a statute under a penalty, even without express declaration that the contract is void

In the latest news, Former Union Minister and Congress Leader Ajay Maken has moved Supreme Court challenging its recent Order directing the removal of about 48,000 jhuggis (slums) from near railway tracks in Delhi.

In furtherance of the order passed on 31.08.2020, the Ministry of Railways and the government of NCT of Delhi have not only initiated the process of eviction by identifying the jhuggis, a number of notices of demolition have also been issued at various slums in the national capital. Highlighting this development, Maken contends that the authorities, in doing so, have acted contrary to established law which necessitates the rehabilitation of the concerned slum dwellers prior to eviction or demolition.

In the light of the above facts, it is prayed that the administrative be directed to first relocate and rehabilitate the slum dwellers before evicting them and demolishing their jhuggis. Therefore, the petitioner has sought directions for authorities to follow the law laid down under the Delhi Slum & JJ Rehabilitation and Relocation Policy, 2015 as well the Protocol in place while implementing the Order of the Top Court.

The 2-time MP has gone on to point out that the Order was passed in a matter (MC Mehta) where the affected slum dwellers were neither party to the case, nor were they represented in nay capacity. Therefore, he adds, the Apex Court passed Orders without having considered their grievances or submissions at all.

Further it was also held that those living in the slums contribute to the social and economic life of a city by working as sanitation workers, garbage collectors, domestic help, rickshaw pullers, laborers, and a wide range of service providers indispensable to a healthy urban life and hence they have the Right to the City or Right to Housing.