Gujarat HC denies the slum dwellers the reduction to retain the rights to land that has been invaded

The Gujarat HC affirmed the right to protection of the slum dwellers, but stated that this could not lead to the right to retain the right to land intended for paving and footpaths.

The Gujarat HC Supreme Magistrate’s Bank denied relief to petitioners (slum dwellers) who were uprooted from their homes at Gandhinagar Railway Station in September 2020.

The petitioners in the present case stated that they settled near this place around the 1990s. The state government issued demolition orders in July 2020. The petitioners applied for an injunction, but it was rejected.

The petitioners were concerned by the order and appealed against it and looked for alternative accommodation. The state government asserted that the place of residence was not declared a slum in 1999.

As a result, the applicants were denied alternative relief on the grounds that they were not covered by the government resolution of July 3, 2003.

The bank ruled against the petitioners, stating that intruders must inevitably be evicted and cannot claim to remain there due to their right to protection. The same thing is protected by Article 19 (1) (e) of the Indian Constitution, but one’s right should not infringe the right of anyone else.

The bank also relied on the Supreme Court decision in the Olga Tellis v Bombay Municipal Corporation case [1985 (3) SCC 545] and stated that it is not mandatory for the state or the company to provide alternative housing for the attackers.

The bank also took the view that every citizen should have the right to protection. However, no one has the right to erect structures on public roads or sidewalks or in other places reserved for public purposes. The bank also proposed that the government develop land allocation guidelines and rules to remove the interference. The bank believed the government needed to focus more on people-based approaches than on market intervention approaches.

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