Congress leader Ajay Maken and two NGOs on Friday moved Delhi High Court alleging that municipal bodies of central and south Delhi were “throwing out” street vendors from hawking zones since Thursday, despite a high court order protecting them from such action.
Maken and the NGOs, in their applications, said the high court on October 5 had ruled that its September 9 order that no street vendor should be evicted from city roads without due process of law, shall not be applicable on non-hawking zones.
They 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 pleas were listed before a bench of justices Indira Bannerjee and V K Rao which did not pass any interim direction to the authorities, saying there was already an order which held that street vendors cannot sell wares in non-hawking zones identified under earlier street vending schemes.
The bench said passing another order, as sought by the applicants, would not ensure compliance of the same and asked the authorities to file their reply to the pleas and listed the matter for hearing on October 19.
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.
The applicants’ lawyers, senior advocates Kirti Uppal and Rakesh Khanna, told the court that as per a 2012 list of vending zones in NDMC areas, Rajiv Chowk and Indira Chowk were squatting or hawking zones.
They said that street vendors were being removed even from Palika Bazaar where they have been selling their wares for the last several decades.
NDMC, represented by Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain, said it had removed only 60 persons from its area and that too as per orders of another bench of the high court.