New Delhi: The Delhi High Court was told on Tuesday that granting relief to slum-dwellers of Rangpuri Pahadi here, who are facing eviction, would embolden the encroachers and will adversely affect efforts of the forest department to protect the Ridge land.
The submission was made before Justice Vibhu Bakhru by Delhi government's forest department which also said the petitioner-slum dwellers are "encroachers on notified ridge land in village Rangpuri".
"Grant of any relief would only further embolden them and will adversely affect the efforts of the respondents (Deputy Conservator of Forests and Tree Officer and four others) to protect the Ridge land.
"The documents placed on record are only proof of residence and in no way indicates ownership over the said land which is notified Ridge land. The petitioners should be put to strict proof of the same," the counter affidavit filed by Delhi government's standing counsel Zubeda Bugum, said.
She said "the forest department has been continuously making efforts to prevent encroachment and retrieve land from encroachers. The encroachment removal at Israil camp Rangpuri too was a part of this regular effort.
The affidavit said that they are repeat offenders with "devious intent" and no leniency must be shown to these encroachers.
After brief arguments, the court listed the matter for further hearing on December 19 by when the slum-dwellers have to respond to Delhi government's affidavit.
The affidavit was filed in response to the plea of Rangpuri Pahadi resident Mohan Kumar seeking a stay on the proposed demolition and eviction of the residents of the slum - Jhuggi Jhopri camp.
He has alleged the concerned authorities may demolish the area without prior intimation, which was likely to take place before December 10.