Monday, May 27, 2024

Haldwani encroachment case: Supreme Court stays HC order

The Supreme Court on Thursday put an interim stay on the Uttarakhand HC order in the Haldwani encroachment case. The Supreme Court issued a notice to the state government and India Railways on the pleas challenging HC’s decision ordering the removal of encroachments from railway land in Haldwani’s Banbhoolpura area. A bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Abhay Oka said some rehabilitation must be done for the residents living on the alleged Railways land. in Haldwani 

Notably, earlier on December 20, the Uttarakhand High Court ordered the authorities to remove the encroachments from railway land in the Banbhoolpura area of Haldwani after giving notice to the residents one week in advance. The Court ordered authorities to evict the unauthorised occupants and vacate the premises from the railway lines adjoining the Haldwani railway station.

The SC in its order said, “A workable arrangement is necessary to segregate people who may have rights/no rights coupled with schemes of rehabilitation which already exists while recognising the need of the railways… We have put to the Additional Solicitor General that full rehabilitation of the persons in the area is needed. Issue notice. In the meantime, there shall be a stay of the directions passed in the impugned order. There should also be a restraint on any more construction/development on the land.”

Following, the apex court order, about 4,000 houses in Haldwani will not be demolished right now. For the time being, the Supreme Court has put a stay on the demolition and issued a notice to the Railways and Uttarakhand government and sought answers. The apex court will hear the matter again on Feb 7.

Reacting to the SC order on the Haldwani encroachment, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said the land concerned belongs to the Railways and they will proceed as per the apex court’s order. “I have said it earlier, it is the land of Railways. On behalf of the government, we have already said that whatever will be the order of the court, we will take further action accordingly.”

On Wednesday, Advocate Prashant Bhushan mentioned the matter concerned before an SC bench comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud and Justices A Nazeer and PS Narasimha. He told the apex court that a petition filed against the HC order was listed for Thursday and urged the SC to tag his petition to it as well. To this, the bench agreed and tagged all the matters together. It is pertinent to mention that earlier, some Haldwani residents had also moved the top court on the issue.

4 things to know about the Haldwani Encroachment

  • Railways land near Haldwani encroached upon
  • Around 4,500 people reside on encroached land
  • The land houses 20 mosques and 9 temples
  • 2 inter colleges, a primary school and a PHC

Notably, thousands of residents in the Banbhoolpura area of Uttarakhand’s Haldwani are protesting the removal of encroachments, saying it will render them homeless and threaten the future of their school-going children. On Tuesday, a massive sit-in protest was held against the clearance of illegal encroachments from 29 acres of railway land.

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