The Delhi High court, in an interim order, Wednesday allowed the Delhi government and civic agencies to evict street vendors from areas identified as “no-vending zones” under the street vending schemes put in place before the Street Vendors Act 2014 was promulgated. “Having regard to the fact that declaration of non-squatting zones and non-vending areas is not inconsistent with the provisions of the Act of 2014 which expressly prohibits carrying out vending activities by street vendors in no-vending zones, we consider it appropriate to direct as an interim measure that non-squatting zones declared under the schemes existing prior to enforcement of Act of 2014 shall continue to be non-squatting zones for the time being so as to balance the larger interest of the general public,” said the court.
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The bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal passed the order after taking note of an affidavit filed by the New Delhi Municipal Council, which had said ward vending committees were created under the earlier rules, which had identified vending and non-vending zones.
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The bench pulled up the Delhi government for “lapses in proper implementation” of the Act which had come into effect from May 2014.
The court also dismissed the NDMC argument that a town vending committee had been created for the NDMC zone, therefore, vendors could be evicted. The court asked the civic agencies and government to file their responses on whether more than one street vendors scheme could be created under the Act.
In a statement, Congress leader Ajay Maken, who had filed a PIL before the high court against an attempt to evict hawkers from Lajpat Nagar market area, said the order was a “dead letter” as there were no schemes in place earlier.