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Delhi High CourtIndian Cases

Citizens For Justice vs Lt. Governor (Nct) And Ors. on 3 July 2006

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Delhi High Court
Citizens For Justice vs Lt. Governor (Nct) And Ors. on 3 July, 2006
Equivalent citations: 130(2006)DLT649
Author: S.N. Aggarwal
Bench: Mukul Mudgal, S.N. Aggarwal
S.N. Aggarwal, J

1. The petitioner-Society has filed this writ petition seeking a writ of prohibition against the respondents restraining them from giving effect to the letter of the Senior Architect (respondent No. 4) dated 15.5.2006 creating 64 locations for hawkers space (beach umbrella type) of size 1.0mt x 1.8mt at District Centre, Nehru Place, New Delhi.

2. The contention of the counsel for the petitioner is that the respondents themselves have declared the District Centre, Nehru Place, as zero tolerance zone and, therefore, they cannot allow the hawkers to encroach the said area under the garb of sites created for them vide impugned letter of their Senior Architect referred to above. We find no force in this contention. The location for hawkers have been created by the respondents not on any area belonging to the shop owners at District Centre, Nehru Place, but on public land with which they have no direct connection. Furthermore, there is no conflict between a no tolerance zone and a regulated and designated area for hawkers.

3. The petitioner cannot be heard to say that its fundamental right has been impinged by any means by creation of sites for the hawkers. In our opinion, this is a step which cannot be assailed as this seeks to regulate and legitimize hawkers in a public space. Hawkers also serve a public need of less affluent section of our population and cannot be wished away. Rather than banishing them it is necessary to ensure that the business of hawking is regulated and legitimized to ensure optimum utilization of public spaces. All over the world public spaces are utilized by permitting hawking in a regulated and disciplined manner. Such regulation of hawking is eminently in public interest as it will also generate revenue for the State. The consideration for use of public space by hawkers would ensure that the amount which lines the private pockets for permitting hawking, finds its way into the State revenue. Furthermore subject to not causing nuisance, obstruction and encroachment, even a small hawker who can not afford the astronomically prized commercial space in Delhi is entitled to carry out his business with dignity and without harassment.

4. In view of the above, we do not find any merit in this writ petition and the same is hereby dismissed in liming.