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SC order on eviction of slums 'callous', says CPM

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, May 10: The Supreme Court order on eviction of slum-dwellers from the capital betrays a ''callous approach'' to the poor and the homeless, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) today said.

Yesterday's judgement outrightly rejecting any relief for slum-dwellers who are living on public land is ''singularly inhumane and unjust'', said the CPI (M) Polit Bureau.

''It betrays a callous approach to the poor and the homeless,'' said a statement issued by the Polit Bureau on the apex court's order granting three weeks to the slum-dwellers of Nagla Machi Jhuggi Jhopri clusters on the Ring Road near Pragati Maidan to move.

The CPI (M) said if slum-dwellers are to be removed from the public land it should be incumbent upon the government to provide them alternative housing sites before they are evicted.

''It would have been better if the two-member bench had pointed out the failure of the State to provide the elementary right to housing for its citizens,'' the party said.

Coming in the wake of an earlier judgement directing removal of all hawkers from the pavements and roads in the capital, it is ''disturbing'' that the highest court of the land shows itself so ''cut off from the realities faced by the common people'', it added.

Yesterday, a bench of Justice Ruma Pal and Justice Markandey Katju issued the directive while disposing of appeals filed by ten residents of the slum cluster against a Delhi High Court order directing their removal latest by May 8.

The bench directed the authorities to relocate the slum-dwellers whenever alternative land is available. The Supreme Court had stayed the removal of the slums last month till yesterday.


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