Stop Eviction of Street Vendors and Confiscation of Property: HC

Jaipur: Rajasthan High Court’s Jaipur Bench today passed a significant order calling for prompt implementation of the Rajasthan Street Vendor’s Act, 2012, with a stay on eviction of street vendors and confiscation of their property.

Following the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas in Jaipur in 2012, where hundreds of street vendors were evicted and their property forcefully taken from them, CCS filed a writ petition before the Rajasthan High Court along with a street vendors organisation, Heritage City Thadi-Thhela Union and Centre for Policy Solutions.

The Rajasthan Street Vendors Act was passed in 2012, and called for formation of town vending committees to register and allocate spaces to street vendors. However, despite this, no action was being taken in line with the law.

The High Court Order calls for implementation of the Act within next month and stay on evictions and further harassment until the Act is implemented. This is a significant win for street vendors. Sanjay Garg, Founder of Centre for Policy Solutions said “Yeh brashtachariyon ke upar karamyogiyon ki jeet hai” [This is win for the honest, and hard-working, over the corrupt]. Prashant Narang, Advocate, iJustice at CCS said “This is true freedom for the poor—freedom to earn their daily bread, without any harassment”.

Pursuit of livelihood of choice is intrinsically linked to quality of life, and this choice is especially vital for those at the base of the pyramid. Centre for Civil Society has long been advocating economic freedom for the poor through their decade long Jeevika: Law, Liberty and Livelihood Campaign which culminated in the passing of the National Street Vendor’s (Protection and Regulation of Vending) Act in March 2014. The final draft of the Act included a number of recommendations issued to the standing committee by CCS in a memo.

The High Court ruling indicates a positive step toward greater livelihood freedom and protection of rights of the rural poor, who face tremendous challenges and regulatory restraints in trying to earn an honest living.

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