Ajay Maken moves SC against order on slums

Ajay Maken.  

Congress leader Ajay Maken approached the Supreme Court on Friday against “blanket directions” issued by the court on August 31 to remove 48,000 slum clusters located in safety zones along railway tracks in Delhi within three months.

The apex court order, passed by a Bench led by Justice Arun Mishra, who retired on September 2, had specifically barred any kind of “interference, political or otherwise” against their removal. It had said that any order of interim stay passed by any court against the removal of these encroachments should be deemed ineffective.

Calling it a “devastating order”, the former Union Cabinet Minister questioned the validity of passing an order without first hearing the affected people or their representatives.

“This letter of urgency is being filed because the Respondents (Ministry of Railways, Delhi government, etc.) have already initiated the process of identification and removal of jhuggies and have issued demolition notices in various slums in Delhi. They have circumvented the established procedure by law with respect to rehabilitation prior to demolition as under the Delhi Slum and JJ Rehabilitation and Relocation Policy of 2015,” Mr. Maken submitted in court through his lawyer, advocate Nitin Saluja.

The Congress leader referred to a decision of the Delhi High Court passed in 2019. He said the court, acting on a petition filed by him, had laid down the protocol for removal of slums. He said a slum cannot be demolished and its people cannot be evicted without first making provision for their rehabilitation.

“Slum dwellers have a fundamental right to the city. They are an integral part of the social and economic fabric of the town,” he said. “If the demolition of slums is carried out, more than 2,50,000 people will be forced to move around the city in search of shelter and livelihood.”

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Printable version | Oct 23, 2020 5:57:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/ajay-maken-moves-sc-against-order-on-slums/article32585176.ece

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