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SC calls eviction of thousands a human issue, asks Govt to find a workable solution

SC calls eviction of thousands a human issue, asks Govt to find a workable solution

New Delhi: Relief to thousands of people, who were on the verge of eviction from the Railway land in Uttarakhand’s Haldwani, the Supreme Court directed to halt the eviction process, staying Uttarakhand High Court’s eviction order.

Terming it a human issue, the court said that 50,000 people cannot be uprooted overnight, besides urging the state government and the Railway to find a workable solution to rehabilitate the people, who have been living in the area for years.

By the Supreme Court order, there will have a stay on the eviction process, which was scheduled to begin on January 10 following the Uttarakhand high court order, and no new construction and development work on the land will be allowed.

The bench of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Abhay S Oka said 50,000 people could not be uprooted in seven days. As Justice SK Kaul heard the matter, he said there are many aspects in the case and people have been staying in the land for years; and there are establishments. It also posted the matter to February 7 for further hearing.

Ever since the High Court bench of Justice R C Khulbe and Justice Sharad Kumar Sharma directed the Railways to pronounce the eviction order, the area witnessed several massive protests against the planned move where thousands of people, including women, children and old came to street describing their haplessness.

Different political parties have also extended their support to the protesting residents.

On December 20 last year, the High Court while ordering the eviction directed the Railways “to use the forces to any extent determining upon need, to evict forthwith the unauthorised occupants after giving them a week’s time to vacate the premises”.

The Supreme Court while referring to the High Court’s suggestion of using force to evict the people, said the suggestion to deploy paramilitary to evict people who have been living there for decades is not prudent and indiscreet.

The High Court, commenting on the state’s earlier intervention, found the matter a political issue that the alleged illegal occupants of the land were given a political shield by the then-ruling party with the intention to secure their vote bank.

Dismissing the claim by residents that the 1907 record established the area as nazul land, the HC said the document is only “an official communication, it will not have a statutory force”.

The proposed demolition would affect over 50,000 residents, 4,365 houses, public and private schools, temples, mosques and business establishments. The protesters claimed they have proper documents and registrations of their properties which are now being termed as ‘encroachment’.

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TAGS:Supreme Court stay on evictionUttarakhand High Court eviction order stayed
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