Delhi High Court today said that street vendors cannot sell their wares in areas which were identified as non-hawking zones under the earlier schemes on street vending.
The court modified its September 9 order that said no street vendor should be evicted from city roads without following due process of law.
A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal said it was modifying its September 9 order as the aspect of non-squatting zones were not inconsistent with the 2014 Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending Act which prohibits vending activities in non-vending areas.
The court noted that though the Act came into force on May 1, 2014, “there were several lapses in proper implementation of its provisions and consequently, no vending zones have not yet been declared”.
“Having regard to the fact that declaration of non-squatting zones or non-vending zones is not inconsistent with provisions of the Act of 2014, which expressly prohibits carrying out vending activities by street vendors in non-vending zones,..
“…we consider it appropriate to direct as an interim measure that non-squatting zones declared under the schemes prior to enforcement of the Act shall continue to be non-squatting zones for the time being so as to balance the larger interest of general public,” the bench said.
It directed the Delhi government to explain, by way of an affidavit, “the steps being taken or proposed to be taken for creating a conducive framework to implement the provision of the Act within a timeline”.
On New Delhi Municipal Council’s (NDMC) contention that there has to be more than one scheme under the Act, the court said it was of the prima facie view that framing a separate scheme for the civic body was “impermissible under the law”.
“On a combined reading of the Act and Rules it appears to us that only one scheme has to be framed by appropriate government for entire national capital territory of Delhi in consultation with local authorities and town vending committees,” the bench said.
The observation came while denying NDMC’s plea that it be allowed to go ahead with its survey of street vendors as provided under the Act.
“Unless we can decide if there can be more than one scheme, we do not want to decide NDMC plea,” the bench said.