HC asks Delhi govt not to remove night shelters till April

Delhi HC came to the rescue of the homeless and asked the city govt not to remove till April the temporary night shelters built near railways tracks.

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday came to the rescue of the homeless and asked the city government not to remove till April the temporary night shelters, built near railways tracks in the national capital.

"Temporary night shelters, constructed at the site of railway tracks, be not removed as people have already gathered there. We are not inclined to pass a direction for removal of these shelters. Night shelters will remain there till the end of April.

"The government shall take all the measures to ensure the safety of the inmates till that period," a bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice VK Jain said.

Coming to the rescue of the homeless in chilly winter, the court asked the Delhi government not to remove the shelters, built near railway tracks at Okhla here and other places.

The land, belonging to the Railways, should not be used for the night shelters.

The court`s direction came on an application filed by the Railways saying that the construction of night shelters be banned near tracks as they pose threats to its properties and the lives of the homeless people.

The court also asked the city government to file a report on the construction of permanent night shelters near Jama Masjid area, and posted the matter for hearing on January 9.

The court had earlier taken suo moto cognisance of a media report about the demolition of a night shelter set up by NGOs in December 2010 and the civic bodies doing nothing to protect the homeless from the cold.