By Srishti Ojha
This article was published on LiveLaw.in website. Read it here
The Supreme Court on Friday directed the Municipal Corporation of Faridabad to process applications accompanied with Aadhar Card to make provisional allotment of accommodation to those displaced in Khori Gaon Demolitions.
The Court has allowed Aadhar Card to be submitted as a proof to avail provisional accommodation under rehabilitation scheme which will be subject to final verification. The three documents allowed under the eligibility criteria for rehabilitation scheme are the voters list, electricity connection and parivar pehchan patra.
A Bench comprising Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari has clarified that the provisional allotment is an interim arrangement, which will not create any rights in favour of any person until they establish their eligibility as mandated under the scheme.
Pursuant to suggestions made by some of the petitioners through Senior Advocate Sanjay Parikh and Advocate Srishti Agnihotri, the Bench has also asked the Corporation to upgrade its web portal by providing the following information:
- Number of applications received
- Details of provisional allotment
- Number of applications approved for allotment
- Number of applications rejected with reasons
- Payment details
- Complaints mechanism
The Bench was hearing a batch of pleas filed challenging the rehabilitation policy including the eligibility criteria framed by the Municipal Corporation of Faridabad with respect to the demolitions planned at Khori Gaon in Faridabad, Haryana.
Details from Previous Hearing:
The Bench had on an earlier occasion asked the Municipal Corporation of Faridabad to consider whether Aadhar card could be included in the eligibility criteria for identification of persons eligible to apply for rehabilitation in relation to the demolition.
Other than Aadhaar card, the Bench had asked the Corporation to also respond to inclusion of other documents including Passport, bank statement, post office account, driving license, etc and if they can be taken into account to establish the fact that the applicant was occupying some premises in that area.
The Bench had suggested the Corporation to consider and tell the Court what can be added to the eligibility criteria.
The observation had been made by the Court after considering the suggestions made by the petitioners regarding inclusion of various documents including Aadhar card etc for determining eligibility of those who can apply for these accommodations, and the Corporation’s response to the same.
After the Bench was informed by the Commissioner that before demolition, the structures in the area were numbered, the Bench observed that if Aadhar cards are allowed to be submitted for identification since the Aadhar card will reflect those structures.
“The Structure numbers were identified, and Aadhar card will reflect that structure number. It has to reflect otherwise it’s an incomplete aadhar card. That verification can be done, if Aadhar card is taken into account Mr Bhardwaj, that contains that information, you can consider it a valid document”, The Bench had told AAG Bhardwaj.
The Bench had added that in case of Aadhar card, if some inquiry is required, the same may be done by the Corporation while examining the proposal.
The Bench had stated that “It is not eligibility, it is identification of the person, and where he was staying is mentioned in the Aadhar cards. He (the Commissioner) says drone survey has been done, structure numbers are allotted to each structure, and that number will be reflected in Aadhar card, if it’s not reflected he has to establish this fact that he was occupying this structure number. If structure has been given some number, then person has to establish he was occupying that structure, aAadhar would be one of that, subject to verification.”
In response to AAG Bhardwaj’s argument that Aadhar may not be a conclusive proof of the applicant’s possession, the Bench had said “Who said conclusive proof? It is prima facie document to be taken into account subject to verification of correctness of that. Why can’t aadhar be taken into account for purpose of identity of person and place where he was staying.”
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.
Case Title: Municipal Corporation Faridabad v. Khori Gaon Residents Welfare Association (Regd.) Through Its President & Ors