'No Uprooting of 50,000 People in 7 Days': SC Stays Haldwani Eviction Order

Supreme Court took exception to the High Court order, noting “there cannot be uprooting of 50,000 people in 7 days".

2 min read

The Supreme Court on Thursday, 5 January, stayed the Uttarakhand High Court order which directed eviction of structures on railway land in Haldwani.

Asking the State and the Railways to find a "practical solution,” the court issued notice and listed the matter for 7 February.

Why this matters: The High Court order directing eviction was slated to affect people residing in more than 4000 houses in that area. The petitioner in the case had also said that the order had come while the proceedings regarding the title of the residents were still pending before the district magistrate.

The court also reportedly took exception to the High Court’s direction to carry out the eviction within seven days, noting “there cannot be uprooting of 50,000 people in 7 days".

What did the apex court say? A bench of Justices SK Kaul and AS Oka, on Thursday, reportedly said that a workable arrangement is required to segregate people who may have rights from people who may have no rights on he land. According to Livelaw, they also said that this move has to be coupled with rehabilitation schemes which already exist, while recognising the need of the railways.

They added:

“We have put to the ASG that full rehabilitation of the persons in the area is needed. Issue notice. In the meantime there shall be stay of the directions passed in the impugned order. There should also be restrain any more construction/development on the land.”

Noting that there is a “human angle to it”, the court reportedly remarked:

"What is troubling us that, how do you deal with the scenario of people who have purchased the land in auction. You may acquire the land and utilise. Other is people have lived there for 50-60 years, some rehabilitation scheme has to be done, even assuming it is railway land.”

(With inputs from LiveLaw.)

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