By Srishti Ojha
This article was published on LiveLaw.in website. Read it here
Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Municipal Corporation of Faridabad to roll out a provisional scheme for rehabilitation of residents in relation to the demolition of structures that has been carried out by the Municipal Corporation of Faridabad at Khori Gaon in Faridabad, Haryana.
This provisional scheme will be independent from the scheme formulated by the Municipal Corporation regarding allotment of premises/houses in lieu of rehabilitation of eligible applicants and submitted before the Top Court through an affidavit (Housing Plan for rehabilitation of Khori Jhuggi Dwellers sitting on land owned by Municipal Corporation, Faridabad).
A Division Bench comprising Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari recorded that “As suggested on earlier occasion, Corporation has in principle agreed to role out a provisional scheme independent from scheme in affidavit regarding allotment of premises/houses in lieu of rehabilitation of eligible applicants.”
The suggestion to consider the provisional allotment of accommodation to those displaced in Khori Gaon demolition was made by Supreme Court to Faridabad Municipal Corporation on last occasion stating that the permanency of their accommodation could be made subject to verification of their documents at a later stage.
This was followed by the Corporation filing and framing a tentative timeline for the rehabilitation and informing the Court that it will make all efforts to complete the process of rehabilitation in relation to the Khori Gaon demolitions by 30th April 2022, including handing over the possession of the flats to eligible applicants.
Today, the Court expressed its disapproval towards the rehabilitation being delayed till next year, and reiterated that those eligible should be provided Accommodation and provisional allotment should be made.
Additional Advocate General Arun Bhardwaj appearing for the Municipal Corporation agreed to the Court’s suggestion.
Provisional Scheme For Allotment: The Bench stated that on receipt of application for allotment duly accompanied by documents to prima face establishing eligibility of rehabilitation, the Corporation will issue provisional allotment letter to such applicant within one week of receipt of application after due scrutiny.
Further, the Court has directed that the provisional allotment letter will indicate that the allotment is only temporary and subject to verification of applications and final draw of lots after scrutiny of applications of all participants.
The Applicant concerned and his family members have been directed to give an undertaking in writing to the Corporation, that they will vacate the premise allotted in case they fail to establish the eligibility criteria during scrutiny or remedy of appeal against such decision, within 2 weeks from receipt of communication to vacate.
Candidates Eligible For Rehabilitation After Final Scrutiny: The Bench has stated that in events where applicants are found to be eligible after due scrutiny, a final allotment letter can be issued to eligible applicants after which they may occupy the premises referred to in final allotment letter in reference to the rehabilitation scheme propounded by the Corporation.
Repair And Maintenance Of Accommodation By Corporation: The Bench noted that after provisional allotment is done, the person can occupy the accommodation referred to in the provisional allotment letter and if any repair or maintenance to make it habitable is required, the same will be carried out by the Corporation.
The Court has further directed the Corporation and its officials to observe all care and caution regarding safety of the occupants in the premises under repair while carrying such maintenance and repair works
Submission Of Applications Through Corporation’s E Portal & Nodal Officers
During the hearing Senior Advocate Sanjay Parikh, appearing for some of the applicants, pointed out that his clients had some difficulty in accessing e-portal of Corporation for submitting application and documents.
The Bench noted that the Additional Advocate General Arun Bhardwaj appearing for the Municipal Corporation submitted that it may be momentary glitches but all care will be taken in this regard.
The Court further stated that the concerned applicant is free to give hard copy of application and documents to the Nodal Officer.
Lastly, in response to some apprehensions expressed by Senior Counsel Colin Gonsalves appearing for some effected persons regarding the cut off date provided in the proposed schedule to submit applications, the Bench has left it open to the Corporation to shift the cut off date as requested by the Counsel.
The Supreme Court had on 6th September granted time to the Municipal Corporation to present a comprehensive rehabilitation scheme and examine and respond to certain suggestions made by the Court regarding provisional allotment of accommodation to the residents.
In the first week of August, the Apex Court had asked the State of Haryana to expedite the consideration of the draft policy of rehabilitation submitted by the Municipal Corporation of Faridabad with respect to the demolitions carried out in the Khori Gaon forest land, and take a final decision preferably before August 25th.
Supreme Court had on July 23rd granted four more weeks to the Municipal Corporation of Faridabad to complete the removal of unauthorised constructions on forest land in Khori Gaon in Faridabad, Haryana.
On 7th June 2021, the Supreme Court had directed the removal of all encroachments on forest land within 6 weeks in a plea seeking a stay on the demolition of 10,000 houses that has been planned by the Municipal Corporation of Faridabad at Khori Gaon in Faridabad, Haryana.
A Bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar had heard the plea which has been filed by 10,000 families living in the Khori Gaon who had challenged the Haryana Shehri Vikas Pradhikaran Rehabilitation Policy to the extent that it limited the cut-off for rehabilitation to 2003, and directed for a report of compliance under the signature of the Chief Secretary and Secretary of Haryana Forest Department to be provided.
“After the certificates are provided, we will determine our own factual position. We make it clear that MCF will proceed as stated in February 2020 order and State will give necessary logistical support to enable corporation to fully evict the occupants on forest land and clear the encroachments”, directed the Court.
Case Title: Municipal Corporation Faridabad v. Khori Gaon Residents Welfare Association (Regd.) Through Its President & Ors | SLP(c) No.7220-7221/2017