58 houses facing demolition at Panth Nagar South India Camp, T-Huts Pant Nagar, Dehi-110014

Pant Nagar South Indian Camp Worker’s Union v. Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board & Ors, WP(C) No. 5999 of 2020 | Delhi High Court at New Delhi | Status: Pending | |

On 02.09.2020, 6 MDC Officials along with 2 trucks and one JCB Bulldozer visited the basti and asked the residents to immediately vacate their houses. They also brought 2 electricians from the Electricity Department to cut the connection, However, the local police were not available so they returned, with a threat that the demolition would be conducted on 03.09.2020 and that the residents should vacate the houses at once. The bulldozer and trucks continued to be parked at the basti.

HRLN petitioned the Delhi High Court on behalf of the residents and the matter came to be heard on 25.9.2020. The SDMC took refuge claiming that some Special Task Force (STF) passed an order, requiring them to remove the encroachments from Government lands. Neither this order was placed before the Court nor any document was produced, proving that the Pant Nagar South Indian Camp should be removed without any rehabilitation or without giving a temporary shelter to these residents.

HRLN successfully persuaded the Court by showing that it is the SDMC who was in default of non-payment of money for rehabilitation. This is due to the fact that SDMC had to pay an amount of Rs.5,57,78,600/- to the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board, for the relocation and rehabilitation of the about 58 eligible jhuggi dwellers. DUSIB had already raided the said demand vide letter dated 26.11.2019. 

However, ignoring the letter dated 26.11.2019, especially with the onset of winters, the SDMC without providing an alternate accommodation and delaying the payment of monies to the DUSIB, came to demolish the houses at Pant Nagar South Indian Camp. The actions of the Corporation reeked of unfair and inhuman treatment of the slum dwellers. Therefore, the Hon Delhi High Court directed the SDMC to pay the money first for relocation and rehabilitation and only then to proceed with the demolition.