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The Supreme Court today extended the stay on the demolition of shanties in the Sarojini Nagar area of South Delhi and said the undertaking given by the Union government regarding no coercive steps will be taken for the removal of 'jhuggis' will continue till the next date of hearing.

A bench of Justices KM Joseph and Justice Hrishikesh Roy listed the matter for further hearing in the third week of July. 

The Supreme Court agreed with the Centre's suggestion for the appointment of a nodal officer to carry out physical verification of all aspects including duration of stay by the dwellers, family details, income status and various others.

Senior Advocate Vikash Singh, appearing for the petitioner, had raised the issue that thousands of people will lose their shelter and urged that there must be some rehabilitation scheme for the slum dwellers.

The petition was filed by a minor Vaishali, through next friend Sita Devi and others. The petitioner has urged the Supreme Court to grant special leave (SLP) to appeal the final order and judgment dated April 19, 2022, passed by Delhi High Court.

The present SLP has been filed by the petitioners against the final order and judgment dated April 19, 2022 (Impugned order) passed by the Division Bench of Delhi High Court, wherein the court had refused to interfere with the order dated April 11, 2022, passed by the Single Judge of Bench of Delhi High Court.

The high court has declined to provide rehabilitation/relocation of the slum dwellers residing in 'jhuggis' of Sarojini Nagar. The petitioner said that about 1,000 people and about 200 families have been residing in the said shanties for more than four decades ie since the 1980s.

"Hence, the courts below have allowed the demolition of jhuggis/eviction of the slum dwellers as per the order dated April 4, 2022, issued by the respondent, and no alternative arrangements have been made for the said indigent and poor slum dwellers," read the petition.

On April 4, the Union Ministry of Urban Development issued eviction/demolition notices to all occupants of the 'jhuggis,' requesting that they leave within one week.

The jhuggis inhabitants have lived there since 1980, according to the petition, and they do not want any government initiative at the site to be halted.

Residents, on the other hand, demanded that their 'jhuggis' be rehabilitated and relocated in accordance with the terms of the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) Act.

Before any eviction action is conducted, the DUSIB Act requires government officials to devise a plan for the rehabilitation and resettlement of 'jhuggis.'

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