Supreme Court Stays Uttarakhand HC Direction For Haldwani Evictions, Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind has filed the petition on behalf of residents

Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind has filed the petition on behalf of residents JUH President Maulana Mahmood Madani has congratulated the Haldwani victims and assured that the Jamiat will not be left behind in helping them.

Supreme Court Stays Uttarakhand HC Direction For Haldwani Evictions, Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind has filed the petition on behalf of residents
Picture: Social Media

New Delhi January 05, 2023: The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the order of the Uttarakhand High Court for the removal of residents living in Gafoor Basti in Haldwani based on which the authorities issued eviction notices to over 4000 families, who claim that they have been residing in the area for years based on valid documents recognized by the government authorities.

Taking exception to the High Court direction to remove the occupants in seven days, the Supreme Court observed "there cannot be uprooting of 50,000 people in 7 days".

A bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Abhay S Oka passed the order while issuing notice to the State of Uttarakhand and the Railways in a batch of special leave petitions filed against the judgment passed by a division bench of the High Court on December 20, 2022. The Court posted the matter to February 7, 2023, asking the State and the Railways to find a "practical solution".

Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind on the directive of its president Maulana Mahmood Madani also filed petitions on behalf of   Imran & 29 others through its battery of advocates including AOR Mansoor Ali , Senior Advocate Bala Subramanian, Tayyab Khan, Niaz  Farooqui, Mujeebuddin Khan.

The  Supreme Court bench was particularly concerned with the fact that many of the occupants have been residing there for decades claiming rights on the basis of leases and auction purchases.

"There are two aspects of the issue. One, they claim leases. Two, they say people migrated after 1947 and the lands were auctioned. People stayed there for so many years. Some rehabilitation has to be given. There are establishments there. How can you say in seven days clear them off?", Justice SK Kaul asked. "People say they have been there for fifty years", Justice Oka observed.

"What is troubling us that, how do you deal with the scenario of people who have purchased the land in auction. You may acquire the land and utilise. Other is people have lived there for 50-60 years, some rehabilitation scheme has to be done, even assuming it is railway land", Justice Kaul said. "There is a human angle to it", the judge added.Justice Oka pointed out that the High Court has passed the order without hearing the affected parties. "Find out some solution. It is a human issue", he said.

Supplementing Justice Oka, Justice Kaul said, "The human issue arises from long periods of occupation. Maybe all of them cannot be painted with the same brush. Maybe there are different categories. But the individual cases have to be examined. Somebody will have to verify the documents"."It may not be correct to say that paramilitary forces have to be deployed to remove people who have been living there for decades", Justice Oka said, taking exception to the High Court directions.

During the hearing, the bench asked if there has been demarcation between the state land and the railway land. The bench also asked if it was true that the proceedings under the Public Premises Act are pending.

Arguments raised in the petition on behalf of Jamiat & others

The petition highlights that the petitioners are poor people who have been lawful residents of Mohalla Nai Basti, Haldwani district for more than 70 years. As per the petitioner, the Uttarakhand High Court ordered the summary eviction of more than 20,000 people residing in more than 4000 houses despite the fact that proceedings regarding the title of the residents were pending before the district magistrate.

It is stated that the names of local residents are entered in the municipal records of house tax register and that they have been paying house tax regularly for years. Further, there are 5 government schools, one hospital and two overhead water tanks in the area. It is further stated that the long settled physical possession of the petitioners and their ancestors, some even prior to the date of Indian independence, has been recognized by the State and its agencies and they have been given gas and water connections and even Aadhaar card numbers accepting their residential addresses.

Statement of Maulana Mahmood Asa'd Madani

Picture: Wikipedia

Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind has filed the petition on behalf of Imran and 29 other residents, who belong to the extremely poor community. The President of Jamiat, Maulana Mahmood Asa'd Madani, while congratulating the Haldwani victims, has assured that the Jamiat will not be behind in helping them and will fight the case with all  its strength. A special instruction has been issued to the members of Jamiat unit Uttarakhand. Apart from this, the entire team of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind under the leadership of Maulana Hakeemuddin Qasmi, General Secretary Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, including Maulana Ghayur Ahmad Qasmi, Maulana Abul Hasan, Deputy President UK Unit Maulana Jalis Qasmi, Secretary Abdul Qadir Farmer etc had visited Haldawani last this week. A separate delegation under leadership of Jamiat state unit president Maualna Aarif Qasmi also met with the victims and they are in contact with the victims from since day one.

Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind Secretary Advocate Niaz Ahmed Farooqui said that Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind has  filed a petition on behalf of poor people living there Imran and other 29 victims, these people were not able to sue themselves and bear its expenses. Our Jamiat delegation visited under the leadership of Maulana Hakeemuddin Qasmi is in constant tough with the victim.

Farhan Siddiqui

Exec. Editor

ISMA Times