Supreme Court stalls DDA's ongoing drive to demolish illegal dwelling units in Delhi [22.5.2023]

The Supreme Court on Monday directed the DDA to halt for a week its ongoing drive to demolish over 800 alleged illegal dwelling units built on its land at Vishwas Nagar area of east Delhi to enable residents to relocate.

A vacation bench comprising justices Aniruddha Bose and Sanjay Karol, however, did not find fault with the orders passed by the single and the division benches of the Delhi High Court permitting the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to go ahead with removal of the encroachments.

While issuing notice to the DDA, represented by lawyer Sunieta Ojha, the bench said it will consider in the second week of July the issue whether the residents, who are sought to be removed from their dwelling units, are entitled for rehabilitation by the land owning agency either under the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board Act or any other law.

We are apprised that demolition work has started at 8 AM today. So far as the right of the members of the petitioner to reside at their present dwelling place is concerned, we do not interfere with the Delhi High Court order.

On humanitarian considerations, we give them seven days to vacate respective premises by May 29, 2023 and then it would be open to the DDA, with the help of such agency, to resume their demolition activities, the bench said in its order.

The bench directed the counsel for the DDA to inform the authorities during the day to immediately stall the demolition drive.

The order was passed on a petition filed by some residents of the Kasturba Nagar area falling under Vishwas Nagar locality of east Delhi.

They assail the demolition notices issued by the DDA on May 18.

The Delhi High Court, on March 14, this year, had refused to stall the demolition move of the DDA while agreeing with the plea of the land owning agency that the residents were encroachers.

22 May 2023