New Delhi: The Supreme Court today came to the rescue of poor dwellers and stayed the eviction and subsequent demolition of their houses built on land of the Pachmarhi Cantonment Board at Hoshangabad in Madhya Pradesh.
A bench of justices J S Kehar and C Nagappan also issued notice to the Pachmarhi Cantonment Board on a plea filed by Sunil Shrives on behalf of residents whose houses were to be demolished after their eviction in pursuance of an order of the Madhya Pradesh High Court.
The court, after granting interim relief, ordered tagging of the petition with similar other pleas pending with it. Shrives and others have said that they have been residing in their respective premises at Pachmarhi for more than 15-20 years and they have neither any means nor alternative shelter to move in.
"Alternative rehabilitation of the petitioners is not being considered by the cantonment board as is evident from the fact that it has issued the eviction/demolition notice to hundred of persons and are also in the process of orally informing the applicants regarding eviction and demolition of structures," the petition said.
It said, "Around 1500 families are likely to be affected by the demolition....Approximately 1000 families are living below poverty line in and around Pachmarhi area of district Hoshangabad."
It also cited an earlier order of the apex court in a similar petition and said the cantonment board be asked not to dispossess the petitioners of this case.
The plea was filed in the apex court against the high court`s January 7 interim order asking the state government to provide help to the cantonment board in removing encroachments.