Delhi HC stays Kathputli colony demolition for 10 days
The Delhi High Court stayed the demolition drive by Delhi Development Authority’s (DDA) at West Delhi’s Kathputli colony for 10 days so that persons eligible for relocation can move out voluntarily and those ineligible get time to appeal against the action.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar directed the police to maintain “strict status quo” in the colony and told the local residents not to carry out any permanent construction. The bench said the persons who were ineligible for relocation as per the DDA and whose houses were demolished in the drive, should not be removed from the area so that they can prove their eligibility for relocation and rehabilitation.
The court also issued notice to the Delhi government, the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board, DDA, police and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, and sought their responses on the PIL moved by some residents of the colony and an NGO challenging the demolition and the manner in which it was carried out. The court told the authorities that while relocation may have to be done, “it needs to be dignified”.
To the residents of the colony, the court asked why do people come to the heart of Delhi and seek in-situ (at the same spot) development and why couldn’t they settle in the outskirts.