23/12/2015 11:34 AM IST | Updated 29/08/2016 9:01 PM IST

Shakur Basti: Delhi HC Wants Protocol For Future Demolitions

Hindustan Times via Getty Images
NEW DELHI, INDIA - DECEMBER 13: Stranded people sit near their demolished shanties after more than 500 slums were demolished last night in an anti-encroachment drive conducted by the Indian Railways at Shakur Basti, on December 13, 2015 in New Delhi, India. Slum residents created uproar after a child was found dead. They alleged that the child had died in the anti-encroachment drive. Railway denied the allegations, saying that the death of the child occurred in one of the slums and had nothing to do with the removal of encroachments. (Photo by Arvind Yadav/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

NEW DELHI -- Unhappy with the manner in which a West Delhi slum cluster was recently razed to the ground, the Delhi High Court yesterday said there should be a "protocol" to carry out future demolition drives in the national capital by keeping in mind the "constitutional rights" of the individual.

"During a demolition some protocol has to be followed. It is not that you go and raze the jhuggis," a bench of justices S Muralidhar and Vibhu Bakhru said, adding that a meeting should be held within four weeks on protocol to be followed in future by all the agencies concerned.

"A draft protocol should be prepared within four weeks thereafter," the bench said in its direction.

It said that Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) is the statutory authority which is assigned with the tasks of improvement, resettlement and rehabilitation of JJ clusters/ bastis in Delhi, so it will convene a meeting of all the land owning agencies in Delhi, irrespective of what stands these agencies may have with regard to the DUSIB Act.

"The agencies must extend full cooperation," the court said, adding that the "protocol will be drawn keeping in view the legal, constitutional and human rights obligations of the state".

It also said that while preparation of protocol, view of the people from the civil society group should also be taken into consideration. Police should also participate in the deliberation of this policy, it said.

The court which has now fixed the matter for January 27 next year, also impleaded Ministry of Urban Development as party to the petition and sought its response on whether it has any policy with regard to JJ cluster.

The court's order came on a bunch of pleas filed including that of senior Congress leader Ajay Maken, who had sought that the Railway Ministry and Delhi Police should be restrained from carrying out any further demolition drive in Shakur Basti area here, which allegedly left around 5000 people homeless in this chilly winter and caused death of the six-month-old girl.

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