The Supreme Court on Monday extended till the third week of July the stay on the proposed demolition of around 200 jhuggis at Sarojini Nagar and asked the Centre to conduct a survey to verify the slum-dwellers there.
A bench of Justices KM Joseph and Hrishikesh Roy took note of the submissions of the Centre's counsel and said a nodal officer be appointed to conduct physical verification of the residents after conducting a proper survey of the area proposed to be used by the government.
The bench, meanwhile, extended the operation of its earlier order staying the proposed demolition till the third week of July when the matter will be heard next after taking note of the submissions of senior advocate Vikas Singh, assisted by lawyer Aman Panwar.
Earlier on April 25, the bench had extended the stay on the proposed demolition till May 2, saying the slumdwellers should be dealt with humanly and cannot be simply thrown.
The bench had taken note of the submissions that the lawyers, appearing for two minor residents including Vaishali whose 10th board examinations are starting on April 26, that thousands of people will be ousted without any other rehabilitation scheme in place.
"Deal with them humanly when you deal with them. As a model government, you cannot say you would not have a policy (on rehabilitation) and simply throw them away. You are dealing with families, the bench had said.
No coercive steps be taken till the next date of hearing, the bench had told Additional SolicitorGeneral K M Nataraj, appearing for the Centre.
Prior to this, a bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana had taken note of the submissions that the plea needed an urgent hearing in view of the imminent threat of demolition of jhuggis' (shanties).
The Union ministry of urban development on April 4 issued eviction/demolition notices to all residents of the jhuggis' asking them to vacate the place within one week.
The plea said that the slum dwellers have been living there since 1980 and they do not want to stall any government project at the site.
However, the residents, besides deferment of a proposed demolition, for the time being, wanted rehabilitation and relocation of their jhuggis' as per the provisions of the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) Act.
The DUSIB Act casts an obligation on government authorities to frame a scheme for rehabilitation and relocation of jhuggis' before any action of eviction is undertaken.
The single judge and the division benches of the high court had relied upon the submissions of the DUSIB and dismissed the plea of residents.
The appeal, filed in the apex court, referred to a response received under the Right to Information Act and said that the city government and its authorities have not notified any Jhuggi in Delhi under the DUSIB Act and have only prepared a list of 675 jhuggis.
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