The central government on Monday informed the SC that there will not be immediate removal of the slums near the railway track in Delhi, in furtherance of the August 31 order of the Apex Court.
Upon this, the Solicitor General told a bench headed by the Chief Justice of India that there won’t be a removal of jhuggis near rail tracks until the railways in consultation with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs discuss and find a solution within 4 weeks.
This submission was made in a petition filed by Ajay Maken who sought to recall the order passed by the SC on August 31, directing the removal of nearly 48,000 slum dwellings around the 140-kiolmeter length of railway tracks in New Delhi within three months.
The bench comprising of Justices Arun Mishra (since retired), BR Gavai and Krishna Murari further directed that no court should grant any stay on the removal of the slums. The encroachments which are there in the safety zones should be removed within a period of three months and no interference, political or otherwise, should be there and no court shall grant any stay with respect to removal of the encroachments in the area in question.
The bench passed the direction after the Railways stated in the affidavit filed before the Court that there is a “predominant presence” of jhuggis in Delhi along with 140 km route length of track in the region of NCT of Delhi. The Railways stated that out of this, about 70 km route length of track is affected by large jhuggie jhopri clusters existing in close vicinity of the tracks. These clusters sum up to a total of about 48000 nos. of Jhuggies in the region adjacent to Railway tracks.
The court was told by the Railways that there was “political intervention” which comes in the way of the removal of encroachments. Emphasizing that close to 2.4 lakh people will be rendered homeless when this order is given effect, by the Railway Ministry’s own admission, the peirioner pleads that doing so without hearing them would be “one” of the gravest tragedy and non-observance of principles of Natural Justice.