HC Directs Authorities To Provide Alternative Shelter Home to Cows of Gaushala To Be Demolished

The Delhi High Court has directed the authorities to provide an alternative shelter home for the cows of a gaushala’ located in the slums at Bhairo Marg in the city which is to be demolished.

The high court clarified the condition of maximum period of stay of three months shall not be applicable to the cows which are to be moved to the alternative bovine shelter.

The high court’s order came while it was hearing a plea challenging an eviction notice issued by the Public Works Department (PWD) asking all slum dwellers of Bhairo Marg near Pragati Maidan to voluntarily demolish their dwellings failing which the structures will be removed with the help of police.

The notice said people residing there will be sent to shelter homes in Dwarka or Geeta Colony where the maximum period of stay will be three months.

Justice Prathiba Singh said it is the settled position in law that until and unless jhuggi (slum) clusters are duly notified, stay on demolition is not feasible.

“In view of the fact that the impugned eviction notice itself identifies the alternative accommodation which is to be given to the petitioner, that is, shelter home in Dwarka, Geeta Colony, it is directed that the reliefs sought by the petitioner would not be liable to be granted.

“However, considering that there are some cows which are in the premises of the petitioner, an alternate shelter home for the cows shall also be provided by the respondents within a week. Thereafter, the respondent authorities will give the petitioner a period of one week for moving to the shelter home,” the court said.

The high court said it will be the responsibility of the authorities to ensure that the basic amenities at the relocated shelter home are duly made available to the petitioner.

Petitioner Keshaw Sanyasi Gawo Shewasharam’ said it is a registered trust and is running a cow shelter and temple at Bhairon Marg, and challenged the PWD’s January 28 eviction notice which asked them to demolish their structures within 15 days of receiving the notice.

The petitioner trust said it was involved in looking after old, ailing and abandoned cows in a gaushala which is situated upon the land in respect of which the notice was issued.

It said the notice was passed without giving any hearing to the petitioner.

The counsel for DUSIB submitted the slum area is not among the notified clusters under the Delhi Slum Rehabilitation Policy.

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