SC Stays Uttarakhand HC’s Order To Clear Encroachments Of Rail Land in Haldwani

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the Uttarakhand high court’s order to clear encroachments from 29 acres of railway land in Haldwani’s Banbhoolpura area. The order comes as a big relief for more than 4,000 residents.

Some of these people have been residing on the property for 50 to 70 years, according to a bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and A. S. Oka, and they cannot be forced to leave within a week.

According to the court, the matter has a “human angle.” During the COVID period, numerous ex parte Public Premises Act proceedings were brought against the families. Railways’ need to use the land for development and families’ right to a dignified existence must coexist in harmony. It is necessary to investigate the families’ rights on the land. Even individuals who have lived there for years with no rights need to be rehabilitated.

“They cannot be uprooted overnight from the land… Somebody has to go into the need for rehabilitation while recognising the need of the railways,” Justice Kaul said.

“And it was not right to order bringing in paramilitary forces,” Justice Oka remarked.

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