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Delhi: DDA will not be able to demolish illegal houses, Supreme Court bans demolition drive for seven days

Pankaj Prasad
Supreme Court
Supreme Court

The Supreme Court directed the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to stop for a week its ongoing drive to demolish over 800 alleged illegal dwellings built on its land in East Delhi's Vishwas Nagar area.

The Supreme Court directed the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to stop for a week its ongoing drive to demolish over 800 alleged illegal dwellings built on its land in East Delhi's Vishwas Nagar area. So that the residents can be shifted from there.

A vacation bench of Justice Aniruddha Bose and Justice Sanjay Karol, however, found no error in the orders of the single and division benches of the Delhi High Court allowing the DDA to proceed to remove the encroachment. The bench told DDA's counsel Sunita Ojha, in the second week of July, to consider the issue whether the people whose houses are being removed are entitled to rehabilitation under the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board Act or any other law. 

The bench said in the order, "We are told that the work of demolition of houses has started from 8 am today." We do not interfere with the order of the Delhi High Court in so far as the right of the petitioner members to continue at their present place of residence is concerned. On humanitarian grounds, we give them seven days time till May 29 to vacate the concerned premises. After this DDA will be free to demolish the house there. The bench directed the counsel for the DDA to inform the authorities about the order so that the demolition drive could be stopped immediately.

The Supreme Court order came on a petition by some residents of Kasturba Nagar area, which falls under East Delhi's Vishwas Nagar area. In the petition, these people have questioned the demolition notices issued by the DDA on May 18. The Delhi High Court had on March 14 this year declined to stay the DDA's demolition move, while agreeing with the land title agency's contention that the residents were encroachers.