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Delhi HC: SHO, Assistant commissioner of MCD to be responsible for encroachment in no vending zone of Chandni Chowk

New Delhi: While disposing of a petition, the Delhi High Court recently said the SHO concerned and Assistant Commissioner of MCD shall be held personally responsible for not removal or reoccurrence of encroachment in the non-vending zone of Chandni Chowk.
The high court also directed strict vigil and day-to-day action on encroachment.
The division bench, comprising justices Tushar Rao Gedela and Ravinder Dudeja, passed the direction while disposing of the petition moved by Chandni Chowk Sarv Vyapar Mandal.
"The strict vigil and action on a day-to-day basis must be taken and in case the encroachments are not removed or re-occurs, the Assistant Commissioner of MCD of the concerned zone and SHO of Police Station Lahori Gate and Kotwali shall be held personally responsible," division bench ordered on December 20, 2023.
The division bench also gave a direction that the respondents shall strictly adhere to the actions to be undertaken as decided by the STF in its minutes of December 7, 2023, and non-compliance thereof shall be viewed seriously by this court.
It was decided in the said minutes of December 7, 2023, that firstly, the Joint encroachment removal drive comprising officials of MCD and Delhi Police will be taken regularly. Secondly, beat officials of Delhi Police will keep vigil in the area after every encroachment drive and prevent resurfacing/return of the illegal hawking/vending in no hawking/no vending area.
Thirdly, DCP North has given assurance to provide a sufficient number of police personnel for the encroachment removal drive and to prevent its recurrence. MCD will share a schedule with Delhi Police and vice-versa for
this drive. Lastly, STF will hold regular review meetings every quarter and review the action taken in this regard.
This meeting was organised under the high court order of November 22 and December 4.
The high court also considered the minutes of the meeting of STF. The orders passed by this court on November 22, 2023, and December 04, 2023, have been duly complied with, in as much as the methodology as to how to handle the unauthorised encroachment etc., are to be acted upon regularly has been categorically specified.
During the hearing, Senior Advocate Sanjiv Ralli, counsel for the petitioner drew the attention of the court to the various orders passed by this court during the interregnum of the pendency of the present petition.
After perusing the relevant portion of those orders, the high court observed, "A perusal of the said orders as extracted, display the anxiety of this court in order to ensure enforcement of rule of law as also keeping in check the encroachments in the non-vending zones. The extracts of the said orders be read as part and parcel of the present order."
"It is also observed from the said orders that the SHO of PS Lahori Gate and the Commissioner of MCD were given various directions to ensure that the rule of law prevails," the bench said.
The high court perused the said orders and opined that the SHO of the concerned PS as well as the Assistant Commissioner of the concerned zone, MCD shall be personally responsible for ensuring that the directions, as formulated by the STF in its minutes dated December 07, 2023, shall be scrupulously followed and implemented by the local authorities.
The petitioner has moved a petition seeking a direction from authorities to ensure that no squatting and hawking activities are carried on in the "non-hawking/non-squatting areas" of City Zone, North DMC including Chandni Chowk, Subhash Marg and other areas notified.
Secondly, to direct the authorities to ensure that the areas from where the illegal hawkers and squatters are removed are not reoccupied again for such prohibited activities.
Thirdly, to direct respondents to ensure compliance with the directions of the Honorable Supreme Court relating to non-hawking/non-squatting areas in Delhi.

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