Name in the voters list need not be mandatory for considering slum dwellers for rehabilitation if they have other documents or proofs to show they have residing in an area for long, the Delhi High Court has told the AAP government. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar felt that a "holistic" and "realistic" view needed to be taken by the authorities in such matters. The court's observation came during the hearing the pleas of 28 slum dwellers residing at Rajiv Camp near NH-24 that they were declared ineligible for rehabilitation by the Delhi government's urban shelter board on the ground that their names were absent from the 2012 to 2016 voters lists. The slum dwellers, represented by advocate Robin David, had sought rehabilitation as their homes were demolished on February 9 this year and the land was handed over to National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for widening of NH-24.
The national highway connects Delhi to Lucknow. The Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) had held the slum dwellers of Rajiv Camp, also represented by advocate Dhiraj Philip, ineligible under its relocation and rehabilitation policy primarily for the reason that their names were not there in the voters lists. Disagreeing with the DUSIB's decision, the bench held that 14 out of the 38 people before it were eligible for allotment of flats as per the board's policy as they had furnished several other proofs of residence, like gas and electricity bills, bank passbooks, driving licences and even voter identity cards. "A realistic view has to be taken in this regard. We find that the persons who were found ineligible were in possession of public identification including voter ID cards," the court said. It said there could be several reasons, including the person being not at home when the booth officer visited for conducting survey for the names not figuring in the electoral rolls. The bench in its August 1 order told the DUSIB that "a conclusion has to be drawn on a holistic consideration of the documents" which were required to be filed under the policy and what was produced by the slum dwellers. It quashed the ineligibility letters sent by the DUSIB to the 14 people and said allotment orders could be issued to them subject to their depositing the required amount of Rs 1.42 lakh and furnishing the prescribed documentation within a period of three months from August 1.
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