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Report No. 138

1.2. Scope and target.-

This report, therefore, deals with a problem which has been prevalent for a long time in India, a problem which, at some stage or other, must be seriously tackled by the society, a problem which is not one for mere academic discussion but is seriously connected with basic needs of human beings. The problem is that of persons who are destined to spend their lives on pavements or slums in the cities. Should such persons be evicted from the places where they dwell, merely because, in the eye of the law, their occupation of the premises is unauthorised?

If the society permits such eviction, should it not provide a reasonably adequate alternative accommodation to them so that the right to live, guaranteed by the Constitution, carries some meaning for them? This question has come up before the courts in India more than once. Generally, while ad hoc relief has been given to these dwellers, it his not been, possible so far to go into the heart of the matter. The Commission believes that the society must address itself directly to the questions posed above and consider the question of incorporating, in the statutory framework of India, a just and workable solution within the limits of the Constitution.

An endeavour has, therefore, been made herein to examine the legal contours of the problem, to draw attention to the existing provisions on the subject, to suggest a solution to the extent to which legislation on the subject is within the competence of Parliament, and to make appropriate recommendations to relieve the distress of the suffering compatriots within the practical parameters of law.

Legislative Protection for Slum and Pavement Dwellers Back

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