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Supreme Court Stays Eviction of 50,000 Encroachers From Uttarakhand Railway Land

The Supreme Court has stayed the Uttarakhand High Court order for the eviction of around 50,000 encroachers from railway land in Haldwani, citing the need for rehabilitation and segregation of those who have no right on the land.

The Bench, headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, said it would not be possible to evict 50,000 people overnight. The Bench added that the interests of the railways must also be considered when rehabilitating and segregating those with no rights on the land.

The top court has issued notice to the railways and Uttarakhand on the petitions challenging the high court’s eviction order. It has posted the matter for February 7.

The high court issued the eviction order in November 2019, following a petition filed by the Railways in 2018. The railway authorities had sought the eviction of encroachers from the railway land in Haldwani, citing that the encroachers were illegally occupying the land. The court noted that full rehabilitation of the people in the area is needed.

The Supreme Court has now given the railways and the state of Uttarakhand time to come up with a plan that takes into account the interests of the railways as well as the rights of the encroachers. Until then, the eviction order stands stayed.

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