In the matter of Faizan Md. Zafar v. State of W.B. Regarding the widespread encroachment on public roads by individuals who are illegally operating a bazaar called Mullick Bazar in the city of Kolkata, the petitioner filed a public interest lawsuit. The petitioners argued that neither the encroachment nor the hawkers were properly controlled by the respondents’ failure to take the proper action.
Analysis of court order
The Calcutta High Court’s Division Bench, which was composed of Chief Justice T.S. Sivagnanam and Justice Ajay Kumar Mehta, ordered that letters be sent to all of the local hawkers instructing them to remove the encroachment and file an action taken report on the following day of the hearing.
The Court noted that there are encroachers selling motor parts in the market area, according to the report provided by the officer in charge of Park Street Police Station in Kolkata. People who deal with items such as vegetables, fruits, flowers, etc. that are meant to be acquired by the general people while on their way to the residents after concluding their work cannot be referred to as hawkers, the court ruled, because they are selling motor parts at the bazaar. They should be referred to as encroachers and trespassers of government property, the Court further declared. The court ordered the respondent police and Kolkata Municipal Corporation officer to send notifications to all of the local hawkers asking them to remove the encroachment within around ten days. The Court further instructed the responding authorities to relocate those intruders in the designated hawking zone and remove them if they do not evict within the allotted time frame.
The Court instructed the Kolkata Commissioner of Police to give the necessary instructions to the involved police officers and, if necessary, to mobilise additional troops to help the Kolkata Municipal Corporation follow the aforementioned directive. The respondent authorities were additionally ordered by the court to submit an action taken report by July 17, 2023.