Practical solution in demand for Haldwani’s eviction order by the High Court: Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court holds the order of the Uttarakhand High Court and asked for a practical solution by posting the matter to February 7, 2023. The Uttarakhand High Court directed the eviction of approximately 50,000 people in Haldwani that were allegedly encroaching on land that belongs to the railways. Based on this, eviction notices were sent to over 4,000 families who claimed to reside in that area for years with valid and government-authorized documents. A Special Leave Petition was filed in the Supreme Court against the decision given by the division bench of the High Court to evict 50,000 people residing in Haldwani.

Two judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Abhay S Oka gave their opinions on the Haldwani railway matter to present an appropriate solution. They stated that a large number of people residing in the Banbhoolpura area of Haldwani could not be forcibly uprooted without examining their rights. They further stated that "There cannot be uprooting of 50,000 people overnight. There has to be segregation of people who have no right on the land and the need to rehabilitation while recognising the need of railways."

Multiple arguments were raised in the petition highlighting the fact that the majority of the petitioners were poor people and residing there for more than 70 years. Considering this, the Supreme Court said that somebody had to verify the documents as all of them are not the land occupants and vice versa. While hearing the case, the Apex Court observed that it is a "Human issue" and there is a requirement for a practical solution to remove or evict occupants residing in Haldwani and rehabilitate them.