The Supreme Court on Monday, 22 May, refused to intervene with a Delhi High Court order directing demolition of 'illegal' constructions in Vishwas Nagar, but has asked the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to pause the demolition for seven days so that the residents can voluntarily leave the area.
"If they don't vacate by 29th May, it would be open to DDA to resume their demolition activities. We order that for a period of 7 days no demolition activity shall be continued," a bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Sanjay Karol said, according to Livelaw.
The Kasturba Nagar Residents Welfare Association had moved the Delhi High Court claiming that the residents have been living there for 40 years. It also claimed in its petition that they were eligible for rehabilitation since they had all the valid documents to support their claims.
However, the High Court had dismissed the plea stating that only those clusters identified by the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board will be eligible for the benefit of rehabilitation under the Delhi Slum & JJ Rehabilitation & Relocation Policy, 2015.
The top court, while upholding the High Court's decision concluded that the association had provided no material to show that the cluster had been identified for rehabilitation.
"Filing documents to show that they have proof of residence is not conclusive proof of continuous stay in the area because this Court can take judicial notice of the fact that persons who stay in such bastis migrate from the place when they get a better accommodation or a new job but they continue to have papers showing these addresses," the court said, according to LiveLaw.
This issue can only be decided in proper suit where it has to be established by leading evidence that they continue to reside in these addresses," the court added.
(With inputs from LiveLaw)