This August, iJustice, CCS's legal advocacy initiative secured a big win for street vendors in Delhi. Vendors across Delhi are challaned by MCD officials every month and magistrates impose heavy penalties, ranging anywhere from Rs 1000-3000, that exceed the legally specified limits in the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act 1957. In the absence of legal awareness or aid, and with little power to resist and legally contest such arbitrary penalties, the vendors are often forced to pay these ad-hoc challans unwillingly.
Such is the story of Samjad, Amjad and Kameshwaram, vendors from Gautam Nagar in New Delhi.. These vendors were arbitrarily fined a sum of Rs 1000 by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation under section 357 (for the accumulation of filth/rubbish) and section 397 (nuisance) of Delhi Municipal Corporation Act 1957. Wanting to contest the fine, the vendors approached iJustice.However, unfortunately, the Magistrate refused to acknowledge any plea or show the order imposing the fine.
After much contestation, Advocate Prashant Narang filed an appeal before the Additional Session Judge (ASJ), Saket Court, challenging the judgement. In a win for the vendors and us, after the ASJ directed the Municipal Magistrate to decide afresh, the Magistrate declared the challan invalid and annulled the penalty.
We have been successfully campaigning for the effective implementation of the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014, through Jeevika, our 'Law, Liberty and Livelihood' campaign. We have also published two comprehensive reports on the status of the implementation of the Act across the country.
Kahaan hai street vendors ki azaadi?
To know more about the Samjad V. SMDC case, or our work for the rights and recognition of street vendors, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.