Delhi High Court

Delhi High Court: In a petition filed by Bella Estate Mazdoor Basti Samiti (petitioner) challenging the eviction notices issued by Delhi Development Authority (respondent 2) to the residents of the estate, and seeking a stay on such eviction, Gaurang Kanth J., held that the petitioner has neither proved the that the jhuggi jhopdi clusters in Bela Estate were notified by DUSIB nor it has proved that the jhuggis in these clusters were constructed before the date of 01-01-2015, thus, they are not entitled to the relief of rehabilitation as per Delhi Slum and JJ Rehabilitation and Relocation Policy, 2015 (DUSIB Policy, 2015).

The petitioner claims to be an association of residents of Bela Estate and a large JJ cluster on the western bank of the river Yamuna that has been in existence for more than 70 years and consists of more than 700 households. Most of the residents have been residing in the subject area prior to 01-01-2015 which is one of the requirements of ‘DUSIB policy, 2015’. A survey of residents of Bela Estate was conducted by DDA during the period 2004-2006 and they were issued provisional land allotment proposals and demand letters by DDA, wherein the residents deposited the amount and submitted the necessary documents as demanded by DDA, however, no alternative land was allotted to them.

Later, in pursuance of an order passed by the National Green Tribunal, DDA issued eviction notices to the residents of Bela Estate directing them to remove illegal encroachment and to vacate DDA’s land. Being aggrieved by the eviction notice issued by DDA, the petitioner filed the instant petition. The issue under consideration is whether the Petitioners, who are admittedly jhuggi dwellers staying at the Yamuna Flood Plains, have any right under the law for rehabilitation.

Placing reliance on Ajay Maken v. Union of India, 2019 SCC OnLine Del 7618, and Sudama Singh v. Government of Delhi, 2010 SCC OnLine Del 612, the Court noted that the petitioner has neither proved the fact that the JJ clusters in Bela Estate were notified by DUSIB nor it has proved that the jhuggis in these clusters were constructed before the date of 01-01-2015.

Thus, the Court held that the petitioners are not entitled to rehabilitation as per DUSIB Policy, 2015 for not fulfilling the requisite conditions.

[Bella Estate Mazdoor Basti Samiti v. Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board, 2023 SCC OnLine Del 1820, decided on 27-03-2023]

Advocates who appeared in this case:

Ms. Kawalpreet Kaur, Mr. Umesh Kumar, Ms. Mughdha, Mr. Nayab Gankar and Ms. Sumayya Khatoon, Advocates for the Petitioner;

Mr. Parvinder Chauhan and Ms. Aakriti Garg, Advocates for DUSIB/R-1 with Mr. Prakashdeep, LA.

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