The Delhi High Court Friday sought responses of the Centre and the Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC), on a plea seeking to stop e-auction of stalls at Dilli Haat. The petitioners alleged that due to lax monitoring, the stalls in the area were being taken over by deep-pocketed businessmen who do not sell genuine handicrafts, while the intended beneficiaries are losing out.
A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani also issued notices to the Ministry of Textiles (MoT) and DTTDC, which runs Dilli Haat, seeking their stand by August 6 on the PIL filed by Dastkari Haat Samiti, a national association of craftspersons, whose founder-president is Jaya Jaitly. She created Dilli Haat at INA Market in 1994.
The association, represented by senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, said in the PIL that while the ministry was responsible for building and allocation of stalls at Dilli Haat, the DTTDC was to collect all the income generated there and to maintain it.
“In 2006, DTTDC introduced the Delhi Haat Operation and Management Rules, 2006, which granted DTTDC with unfettered power to allot stalls to any person they deem fit at rents decided by it and construct additional stalls. Thereafter, in May 2010, DTTDC exercised the powers set out in the aforementioned rules and constructed several more stalls at Dilli Haat. DTTDC allotted these newly constructed stalls to persons without consultation with the MoT,” the plea read. “Gradually, DTTDC created Brand Promotion stalls, which were let out to traders at high rents. The stalls were not allotted to genuine craftspersons.”
The association recommended that all temporary stalls be removed from Dilli Haat.