The Karnataka High Court has directed 49 shopkeepers at the Malleswaram market to vacate their shops within a week on allotment of temporary shops to them by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).

A direction in this regard was given by the court in its June 28 order while disposing of petitions filed by shopkeepers, Shivanna and 48 others, questioning construction of new vegetable and commercial complex by demolishing the existing market and the notices issued to them by the BBMP to vacate the premises.

Justice H.N. Nagamohan Das passed the order after the BBMP told the court that the temporary sheds built for the licensed shopkeepers were ready for allotment and the 39 licensed shopkeepers, who were among the 49 petitioners, agreed to vacate the present shops on their rehabilitation. The BBMP said that it would accommodate all licensed original allottees in the new complex.

Following this, the court directed the BBMP to allot temporary shops to them within two weeks from June 28, and directed them to vacate their present shops within a week of allotment of temporary shops.

Though the BBMP said that 11 of the petitioners were not among the original allottees of the shops, their counsel claimed that they were operating shops under legal transfer of rights. However, BBMP agreed to provide temporary shops to these 11 petitioners too but made it clear that allotment of shops to them in the new complex was subject to scrutiny of documents on which they are relying.

Meanwhile, a senior BBMP official said that though there are a total of 247 shops in the market, only 119 traders would be rehabilitated in the temporary sheds. “The BBMP cannot be held responsible for the shopkeepers who are not original allottees,” the official said.

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