SC granted State and Railway authorities eight weeks’ time to work out a solution, inter alia, for rehabilitation of the occupants

SC granted State and Railway authorities eight weeks’ time to work out a solution, inter alia, for rehabilitation of the occupants

The Supreme Court gave the State and the Railway authorities eight weeks to find a solution, including one for the rehabilitation of the residents, in cases challenging the Uttarakhand High Court's judgement requiring eviction of occupants from lands claimed by the Railways in Haldwani. 

The Supreme Court previously ordered the Additional Solicitor General, Ms. Aishwarya Bhati, to think about how land can be made accessible to the Railways and to look into the issue of rehabilitation while giving a stay on the High Court's order.

“We have put to Ld. ASG that look may be had to the methodology of achieving the purpose of the requisite land being made available to the Railways coupled with the rehabilitation of the persons in the area”, the Court had recorded in the order.

The Court had further asked the State and the Railways to find practical solutions. Justice Oka had emphasised, "Find out some solution. It is a human issue". Justice Kaul had told the State, "State of Uttarakhand has to find a practical solution".

Over 4000 families who claim to have lived in the area for years on the basis of legitimate papers acknowledged by the government authorities received eviction notifications based on the High Court's judgement. The Supreme Court had given notice to the State of Uttarakhand and the Railways when the case came before it, staying the High Court's decision and stating that "...there cannot be uprooting of 50,000 people in 7 days."

The petition emphasises that the signers are low-income individuals who have lived in Haldwani district's Mohalla Nai Basti for more than 70 years as legal residents. According to the petitioner, despite the fact that district magistrate procedures regarding the residents' title were still pending, the Uttarakhand High Court ordered the summary eviction of more than 20,000 persons living in more than 4000 homes. It is claimed that local residents' identities are listed in the municipal house tax register and that they have been making on-time house tax payments for years. In addition, the neighbourhood has two overhead water tanks, one hospital, and five government schools. Furthermore, it is claimed that the State and its agencies have acknowledged the petitioners' and their ancestors' long-standing physical possession of the property, some of which dates back to India's independence, and that they have provided them with gas and water connections as well as Aadhaar numbers that accept their residential addresses.

Case Title: Abdul Mateen Siddiqui v. UoI And Ors. 
Diary No. 289/2023

Order dated 05.01.2023

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