Jahangirpuri demolition drive: SC to hear on Tuesday plea of hawkers against demolition drive at Jahangirpuri

The Supreme Court Monday agreed to hear on Tuesday the plea of a hawkers’ association alleging that the shops and hawking space of street vendors have also been razed in the violence-hit Jahangirpuri area of the national capital by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC).

A vacation bench of Justices C T Ravikumar and Sudhanshu Dhulia took note of the submissions of senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, appearing for the association, that the plea needed an urgent hearing along with other pending petitions on the issue.

The top court is scheduled to hear a batch of petitions including the ones filed by the Muslim body Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind against the demolition of buildings at Kanpur and Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh.

The Muslim body had earlier filed another plea on the issue of demolition of buildings in the Jahangirpuri area of the national capital.

On June 16, it gave the Uttar Pradesh government and its municipal bodies of Prayagraj and Kanpur to respond to the pleas which alleged that the houses of the Muslim riots accused were illegally demolished, saying everything should be fair” and authorities should strictly follow the due procedure under the law.

Gonsalves, seeking urgent listing of the plea of hawkers with the pending ones, said, “This relates to the batch of Jahangirpuri matter. This is a matter of hawkers whose shops were demolished. Please tag it along with it.”

“All the matters will be posted after it gets the approval from the CJI,” the bench said.

The NDMC, on April 20, had launched an anti-encroachment drive in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri and the demolition drive had followed just days after communal clashes erupted in the area on Hanuman Jayanti.

The demolition drive was halted by the apex court on the same day and the order was later extended saying it would take a “serious view” of the demolition that was carried out even after its order was communicated to the NDMC mayor.

Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, in its pleas, has been seeking directions to the states like Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh to ensure that no further demolitions of properties of alleged accused of riots are carried out without following due process and such an exercise is done only after adequate notice.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government, and senior advocate Harish Salve, representing the Kanpur and Prayagraj civic authorities, had said the due process of law was followed and notice in one instance of demolition was given way back in August 2020.

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