NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has refused to recall its earlier order against the residents of a ‘jhuggi jhopri’ (JJ) cluster located near Sunder Nursery, near DPS Mathura Road, where the unauthorised construction is slated to be demolished.
The petitioners, on behalf of the slum dwellers, approached the high court seeking review of a February 18, 2019 order. They contended that the court had “erred” in the order by concluding that the slum cluster did not exist before January 1, 2006.
According to the petitioner, the court’s conclusion that none of the residents had annexed any documents showing electricity connections to their dwellings was not relevant to the issue. Dismissing the plea, a division bench of Justice V Kameswar Rao and Justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora said, “We are of the view that the review petition/application is, apart from being barred by time, no ground has been made out seeking review/recall of order dated February 18, 2019.”
The petitioners argued that documents such as election ID cards and Aadhaar cards satisfy the condition that they were residing in the Jhuggi Jhopri cluster before January 2006. However, the bench, referring to the earlier order, said if the residents could get voter ID cards, bank accounts and Aadhaar cards, they could have also got electricity connections to their dwelling units.
The earlier order pointed out that if unauthorised constructions are not removed at the concerned khasra and its surrounding area and a satisfactory report is not filed, the court would be constrained to initiate contempt proceedings against the land-owning department and its officers, the bench noted.
As per the plea, a survey carried out in 2012 features the names of 212 families residing in the JJ Cluster. It further said if the 2012 survey had been in place, then the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) could not have argued that the JJ Cluster was not in existence before January 2006. The ‘basti’ was a notified cluster in DUSIB’s list and hence were entitled to protection under the Delhi Slum & Jhuggi Jhopri Rehabilitation and Relocation Policy, 2015, the plea argued.