HC says DC report on hawkers unclear, hearing today

SHILLONG: The division bench of the High Court of Meghalaya has expressed its dissatisfaction over the report prepared by the deputy commissioner on the hawkers operating within the Shillong town.
The court also was annoyed by the State government not making clear whether hawkers’ representatives were included in the town vending committee. The matter has been listed for hearing again on Friday.
The HC division bench on Thursday expressed dissatisfaction because even when existing hawkers have been indicated at few places in some of the paragraphs of the report, the photographs placed on record, as snapped on November 26, are not specifically showing such existing hawkers and street vendors except some photographs showing a few street vendors.
“Be that as it may, at present, we are not making any further comment on this report      and will consider the matter in detail after the appellants have placed their comments in relation to this report on record,” the court said.
The court also went through the report of the Chief Secretary that pursuant to the court’s directions, the town vending committees were reconstituted on December 2 on template basis to include more members in accordance with the Street Vendors Act, 2014, with directions to the concerned Chairpersons to reconstitute the town vending committees after duly nominating the representatives.
“Even in this regard, the situation is rather dissatisfactory when we find that pursuant to the notification dated December 2, the town vending committees ought to have been constituted with at least three representatives of the Street Vendors Association and such nomination were to be made by the Chairperson of the town vending committee, who is the chief executive officer, Municipal Board, in relation to municipal areas and the additional deputy commissioner in relation to non-municipal areas,” the order said.
On being queried about whether the additional deputy commissioner has made any such nomination, the senior government advocate was not in a position to answer. Further, on being queried if the chief executive officer of the Shillong Municipal Board has made any nomination, the counsel for the civic body said they were waiting for instructions.
“Thus in the overall scenario, we find it seriously questionable if the order dated November 25 was obeyed in letter and spirit by the authorities concerned. We find it rather intriguing that the so-called seizure lists were drawn on November 30 and then on December 5 by the officers of the Municipal Board. What confounds the matter is that the seizure lists dated November 30 were drawn while conducting eviction drive as per the High Court order dated November 10,” the order said.
The hawkers continued to boycott the issue of forms on Thursday. They also demanded the implementation of the central act.