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Delhi High Court Order: Residents of Yamuna Floodplains Issued Bailable Warrants To Vacate Their Jhuggis

The order was passed over a plea moved by 19 residents of the basti who claimed that officials of the Delhi Development Authority and the Delhi Police had threatened them in August to vacate their jhuggies (huts) or else the same would be demolished forcefully. 

Residents of jhuggies on Yamuna Floodplains
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The Delhi High Court on Friday issued bailable warrants against the residents of Moolchand basti living in “T-huts” at the Yamuna floodplains in Bela Estate, Rajghat.

The order was passed over a plea moved by 19 residents of the basti who claimed that officials of the Delhi Development Authority and the Delhi Police had threatened them in August to vacate their jhuggies (huts) or else the same would be demolished forcefully. 

Senior counsel Prabhsahay Kaur for the DDA informed the sitting judge Justice Yashwant Varma on August 17 about two HC judgments that sought identical challenges that the court discarded. “It is pointed out that all the petitioners are residing on what are the Yamuna flood plains and in respect of which various injunctions stand issued by competent authorities and mandate the removal of all encroachments,” the HC had noted.

Kaur had also placed on record papers of petitions filed before the Supreme Court, which indicated that the “fathers of the petitioners had instituted litigation in respect of the same property and have lost right up to the Supreme Court”. The HC observed that none of these issues had been disclosed by the petitioners—the residents of the basti

On Friday, the high court observed that a “detailed order was passed” on August 17 where it was noted that the “petitioner had clearly concealed material facts” and had been asked to show cause as to why criminal contempt should not be initiated against them. The petitioner’s counsel submitted that a reply had been filed by them but the affidavit attached to the reply was not notarised. The HC noted that the “petitioner had failed to comply with” the directions of the court observed on August 17.

Kaur argued that the petitioners had moved the HC in a contempt plea “seeking identical reliefs”. The plea was filed seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against DDA officials and other authorities claiming that the DDA's attempt to remove jhuggies (huts) is in contravention of a 2019 judgment of the HC in Ajay Maken and others v UOI. The contempt plea states that as per Ajay Maken’s case, jhuggis have to be surveyed and rehabilitated prior to their removal.

Kaur further said that an early hearing application was moved in the contempt plea to which the HC observed that even in that matter the petitioners did not disclose the order passed on August 17. The HC, thereafter, issued bailable warrants against the petitioners and listed the matter for hearing on January 13.
 

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