At least 800 families in Delhi's Muslimdominated Batla House were rendered homeless after a slum clearance drive by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA). The residents of Batla House are mostly domestic and daily wage workers and are among the worst hit since the COVID19 pandemic began. The demolition drive started on September 22, 2020. The residents claim that no notice was served and that no alternate site was designated for their rehabilitation. Officials also demolished a toilet block in the area. The sudden eviction left several people injured in the debris of demolition. Some also lost their livelihood. Mohammad Javed, 32, a rickshaw puller and father of five, told the media: My rickshaw was broken, and our household items are gone. We were suffering during the lockdown but at least we had a roof over our heads. There is no food, no clothes, no electricity or water now. At night we deal with the mosquitoes and during the day, we suffer under the sun. The DDA demolished the slums citing the National Green Tribunals law against construction on river embankments. It claimed that the land falls in the Yamuna floodplains and is owned by the DDA, hence the residents of Batla House are encroachers. While DDA officials allege that the slum has come up during the pandemic, the residents claim to have been living in the area for many years. The Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) petitioned the Delhi high court on behalf of two residents, and the court heard the matter on September 25, 2020. HRLN successfully persuaded the court to order a fiveday stay on the demolition in order to approach the division bench for clarification and rehabilitation of the slum dwellers. On January 19, 2021, over 200 slum dwellers from the Dhobighat area (one part of the demolished area) marched to the office of Okhla MLA Amanatullah Khan demanding alternate land close to the demolition site. They were able to submit their memorandum of demands but no action has been taken yet.
Demand for rehabilitation, Complaint against procedural violations
Has the Conflict Ended?
When did it end?
Why did the conflict end?
Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict
Central/State Government Policy, Constitutional Law
Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute
What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community? What was the decision of the concerned government department?
Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:
Status of Case In Court
Whether any adjudicatory body was approached
Name of the adjudicatory body
Name(s) of the Court(s)
High Court of Delhi
Shakil Ahmed v. Delhi Development Authority & Ors, WP(C) No. 7032 of 2020
Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:
Displacement, Physical attack, Arrest/detention/imprisonment
Whether criminal law was used against protestors
Official name of the criminal law. Did the case reach trial?
Reported Details of the Violation:
Police did not allow the residents to remove or take their belongings during the demolition drive. Few people who protested against this were beaten up and detained.
Date of Violation
September 24, 2020
Location of Violation
Nature of Protest
Protests/marches, Complaints, petitions, memorandums to officials
Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:
Delhi Development Authority, Delhi Police, Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board, Government of NCT of Delhi, Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation
PSUs Involved in the Conflict:
Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?
Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached
Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:
Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?
Name, Designation and Comment of Corporate Authorities Approached
Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:
Human Rights Law Network