Move to alternate facility: HC to visually impaired students

The Delhi High Court today directed a group of visually impaired students, whose hostel was recently demolished, to immediately shift to the alternate facilities being provided to them by the DDA.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said its order of January 3 asking them to move out of the area has to be complied with.

The court was displeased that the visually impaired students’ had not moved out from the site and were living there in a tent, saying “our orders will not be frustrated like this”.

The bench said it took up the issue of the students on its own after coming to know of their plight and was working to ensure proper facilities for them.

“This is not expected when we were giving them facilities. Our orders will not be frustrated like this. We do not approve of this. Please shift to the community centre. If they do not move, we will ensure physical removal,” an angry bench said.

It said “we have not left any poor or disabled person out on a limb.”

The remarks of the court came after the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) submitted that it was asking the students to shift to the community centre, but they were not moving out.

The court told the students’ lawyers that by not shifting from the site, they were “encroaching on public land”.

It gave them time till January 24, the next date of hearing, to move to the community centre.

The court on January 3 also had told them to move to an alternative accommodation, saying they were illegal occupants of government land and cannot claim legal right over it.

The court was hearing a PIL by nine visually impaired students, who have alleged that DDA acted illegally in forcibly evicting them from the hostel in south-west Delhi where they were residing since 2000.

The court has taken up the issue on its own also after it came across a news report that 20 students were sleeping in the open after their hostel, Louis Welfare Progressive Association of the Blind in Janakpuri here, was demolished on December 15 last year.

The report had claimed that the occupants were neither given prior information about the demolition nor ample time to gather their belongings.

Around 20 people, mostly students of Delhi University or the nearby Sarvodaya school, used to stay there.

Source : PTI

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