A Supreme Court Bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra ordered the removal of 48,000 slum dwellings around 140 km of railways tracks in Delhi, according to Live Law. The removal has to be completed within three months. The apex court also directed that no court should grant a stay in the matter.
The order pertains to the M C Mehta case, related to pollution in and around Delhi. The top court has been passing directions in the case from time to time since 1985.
"The encroachments which are there in the safety zones should be removed within a period of three months and no interference, political or otherwise, should be there and no court shall grant any stay with respect to the removal of encroachments in the area in question", the Supreme Court ordered.
The Bench, in an order passed on August 31, further stated that "in case any interim order is granted with respect to encroachments which have been made along with railway tracks, that shall not be effective'.
The "Bench passed the direction after Indian Railways stated in an affidavit that there was a "predominant presence" of jhuggies in Delhi along 140-km route length of track in the region of NCT of Delhi. Indian Railways has stated that about 70-km route length of track is affected by large jhuggie-jhopri clusters existing in close vicinity of the tracks. These clusters totalled about 48,000 jhuggies in the region adjacent to railway tracks, the court was told.
Indian Railweays had also told the SC that there was 'political intervention' which came in the way of the removal of encroachments.