Communist Party of India (Marxist) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat has filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking compensation for the alleged victims of the Jahangirpuri anti-encroachment drive.
According to the reports, the Communist leader has filed a petition in the Supreme Court urging the court to cancel the anti-encroachment drive and not proceed without ‘due process of law’. In her petition, Karat claimed that the authorities refused to discontinue the operation until 12.25 pm despite her reaching the spot and bringing to their notice that the SC had stayed the anti-encroachment drive.
Brinda Karat also claimed that the NDMC officials started demolishing houses, shops and other buildings without giving a proper show cause and giving breathing time to people residing/working in the Jahangirpuri area of North Delhi, denying their precious constitutional rights and right to life.
“The entire action is absolutely and manifestly arbitrary and in violation of Articles 14, 19 and 21. Their only shelter and buildings for their livelihood are demolished in utter disregard to statutes and the Constitution. People residing and working in the Jahangirpuri area are very poor and marginalised who are incapable of resisting the illegal, inhumane action of the respondents,” Brinda Karat claimed in her petition.
The Communist leader also contended that the demolition had been carried out in a discriminatory manner sparing buildings in B, H and other blocks of the area.
Her petition comes a day after she had reached Delhi’s Jahangirpuri to ‘implement’ the Supreme Court order that stayed the anti-encroachment drive.
Within an hour after the Supreme Court had ordered to maintain the status quo in the ongoing anti-encroachment drive being carried out by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri, Communist leader Brinda Karat had arrived in Jahangirpuri with the Supreme Court order asking the authorities to stop the process immediately.
In response, the Delhi police had asked the controversial Communist leader to vacate the demolition site and not create any chaos.
Delay in NDMC officers receiving Supreme Court’s orders
However, some have criticised the actions of the Communist leader, saying she had no locus standi on the issue. More importantly, the Communist leader’s attack on the NDMC officials is being seen as obstructing public servants from carrying out their duty.
The contention of Brinda Karat is that the NDMC officials did not immediately stop the anti-encroachment process as soon as Supreme Court had ordered to maintain the status quo. Some media had reported that the officials had continued to raze down properties of encroachers despite the apex court order to stop the demolition.
However, it must be understood that the media reports cannot be equivalent to the court orders, and hence the civic officials cannot go by the reports to stop the anti-encroachment order. There was also little uncertainty over the Supreme Court orders on the demolition drive, which perhaps may have delayed the authorities receiving the order.
As NDMC officials had not received the order of the Supreme Court, they were carrying out the anti-encroachment drive as mandated by an elected body, i.e., the New Delhi Municipal Corporation. Mayor Raja Iqbal Singh had also stated that the drive would be halted when they received the order.
Hence, it is not entirely proper to intimidate and obstruct public servants by filing a petition in the Supreme Court for carrying out their duty, in this case, the anti-encroachment drive in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri.
Jahangirpuri anti-encroachment drive:
Earlier on Wednesday, the NMDC had started its anti-encroachment drive in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri area amid a heavy police presence. Many bulldozers had started bringing down illegal structures, shops and other encroachments.
The NMDC had requested over 400 personnel from the Delhi police to carry out the anti-encroachment drive in the Jahangirpuri area. The area had witnessed severe violence on April 16 when a Hindu procession on Hanuman Jayanti was attacked with stones, bottles and gunshots by a Muslim mob.