Refusing to stay its earlier orders that allowed hawking in only designated zones, the Bombay High Court Friday clarified that around 99,000 hawkers found eligible under the survey conducted by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation continued to be protected under the orders. Azad Hawkers Union had sought a stay for eight weeks to approach the Supreme Court but it was denied by a division bench of Justice B R Gavai and Justice M S Karnik.
The bench had on November 1 passed orders stating that if they allow hawking in non-hawking zones, including areas near places of worship, railway stations, foot overbridges and educational institutions, it would lead to “chaos in all the cities.”
“We are, therefore, of the considered view that while considering the rights of hawkers to conduct their vending businesses on the streets, we will have to balance the rights of pedestrians to walk on the footpaths and the citizens to use roads for plying their vehicles,” the bench had then observed.
Hawker associations as well as Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam had approached the court claiming that as per the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, the municipal authorities cannot evict them. According to them, the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act as well as High Court orders protect all hawkers who have been carrying out business as on the date the law was enacted on May 1, 2014.