Supreme Court stays demolition of around 5,000 ‘jhuggis’ in Gujarat

New Delhi: Taking a humanitarian approach, the Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the demolition of around 5,000 ‘jhuggis’ (slums) in a place in Gujarat and directed the state government to maintain the status quo till tomorrow, until when it will take up the matter again.

The apex court today stayed the demolition after it was informed by lawyers that the state authorities (of Gujarat) are all set to demolish these jhuggis in a place in Gujarat by tonight.

The Supreme Court also issued notice to the state government and fixed the matter for further hearing tomorrow.

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A two-judge bench, headed by the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana and also comprising Justice Surya Kant, today stayed the demolition of around 5,000 jhuggis in a place in Gujarat.

“We stay the demolition. We direct the state government to maintain the status quo till tomorrow. The matter is listed for further hearing tomorrow,” the bench led by the CJI Ramana said.

The Supreme Court today also listed the appeal against a Gujarat High Court order in this regard for hearing tomorrow.

The order for stay of demolition of around 5,000 jhuggis was passed after an urgent mentioning was made by a senior lawyer, Colin Gonsalves.

Gonsalves submitted to the apex court that the High Court had recently vacated a stay order which had been in force since 2016 and the demolition of the jhuggis will start today. “So please milords consider this urgently,” he pleaded to the apex court.

Gonsalves pleaded to the apex court for a stay and a status quo in the matter, pointing out that the High Court had granted a stay in 2016, but it was vacated recently.

The court was primarily thinking of listing the matter for day after tomorrow and did not want to give any relief initially, but subsequently when Gonsalves pleaded to consider the case on a priority basis, then the apex court, on humanitarian grounds, granted a stay on demolition of these around 5,000 jhuggis, there, and listed the case for hearing tomorrow.

Gonsalves said that the demolition will start by today and precisely, by tonight, everything will be smashed, and thereby pleaded to the apex court to give certain relief in the form of staying of demolition and to maintain a status quo in the matter, till it decides the case further.

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