Millennium Post

No action against street vendors till Diwali: AAP govt tells HC

The Delhi government on Wednesday informed the Delhi High Court that no coercive action would be taken against street vendors in the national Capital during the ongoing festive season of Diwali.

The AAP government told a Bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal that after deliberations, the authorities concerned have decided not to take action against street vendors as of now and this has also been communicated to the office of the Lieutenant Governor (LG).

The Bench then asked: “Who will be a genuine street vendor? Who will identify that a street vendor is genuine or not?” 

Responding to this, the government and civic bodies said “it is a stop-gap arrangement only for Diwali festive season”. The Bench said it would not take on record the copy of decision taken by the authorities concerned, which was placed before it, as it might further complicate the issue.

“If you (authorities) want, you can take action. We will not say anything. We will not take it (copy of decision) on record as it might complicate the matter,” the Bench said and fixed the matter for hearing on November 7. 

The Bench was hearing pleas of Congress leader Ajay Maken and two NGOs alleging that Municipal bodies of Central and South Delhi were “throwing out” street vendors from hawking zones, despite a high court order protecting them from such action. During Wednesday’s hearing, the counsel appearing for the applicants told the Bench that despite the high court order, the authorities were removing the street vendors.

The Bench, however, said: “We cannot go on reviewing our order. We have passed a detailed order. You wait till November 7. We will hear the matter along with the main matter”. 

Maken and the NGOs, in their applications, have said the high court on October 5 had ruled that its September 9 order that no street vendor should be evicted from the city roads without due process of law, shall not be applicable on non- hawking zones. They had contended that under the garb of this order, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) have started throwing out people even from hawking zones like Rajiv Chowk, Indira Chowk and Lajpat Nagar.

The applicants have sought that NDMC and other Municipal Corporations be restrained from taking any coercive action against street vendors in any area which has not been declared as a ‘no-vending zone’ under the earlier scheme. 
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