The rights of street vendors are being “grossly affected”, the Delhi High Court observed while asking the AAP government to expeditiously set up vending committees through elections to address their grievances. A bench, headed by Justice G S Sistani, asked the government to set up a town vending committee (TVC) in each municipality and consider representations of street vendors in the capital.
Senior advocate Kirti Uppal, representing a petitioner NGO, and lawyer Aman Panwar who appeared for Congress leader Ajay Maken, had contended that an election should be held among over 1,32,000 vendors, whose names were mentioned in the lists prepared by various committees formed to deal with allotment of places for street vendors.
Directions were given after Maken, along with some NGOs and traders’ associations, alleged that the law on setting up TVCs has been violated by the government as these bodies do not comprise the elected representatives of vendors. The High Court said the matter “may be looked into expeditiously, as the number of cases are increasing and, on the other hand, we find that there are obstructions on roads and pavements as well and in the absence of formation of TVC, rights of street vendors are being grossly affected”.
“Prima facie, we find the stand taken by the petitioners to be fair and just for the reason that as a general principle of law, a rule cannot override the basic provisions of the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014,” it said. “We request the respondents (Delhi government and civic bodies) to consider the representations of street vendors and the submissions made and recorded in the order passed,” the bench, also comprising Justice Chander Shekhar, said.