HC asks BMC to register street vendors, hawkers in 4 months

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Street-HawkersThe Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed the BMC to initiate and complete the process of registration of street vendors and hawkers within four-month time stipulated by Supreme Court last year.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice M S Sanklecha was hearing a petition filed by Mumbai Hawkers Union challenging a December 31, 2013 order issued by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) constituting the Town Vending Committee (TVC).

According to the petitioner, having over a lakh hawker members, the committee has a total of 30 members out of which 12 members would representative one union each.

“Our union has 1,60,000 members and some unions have as low as 200 members. The civic body has included these unions also in the committee. Our union having the largest number of members should get more than one representative in the committee,” the petition said.

BMC counsel S U Kamdar opposed the petition and said, “The petitioner wants a monopoly which is not possible. Every union should get to represent itself in the committee. As on date there are 60 registered unions of hawkers. The corporation has chosen 12 unions out of this to represent themselves in the committee.”

The bench agreed to this and said the corporation cannot go by proportionate method, otherwise the union would have 11 representatives in the committee.

“We are not inclined to grant any relief at this stage. The first important step now is the registration process. Let the civic body initiate and complete that process. Other issues contended in the petition can be heard and decided later,” the court said.

The matter has been posted for hearing on February 13. The committee was formed following a direction from the Supreme Court in September last year restricting all states and Union Territories from taking action against street vendors and hawkers and directing them to implement the 2009 national policy for their regulation.

The apex court had ordered for committees to be formed for registration and creation of vending/hawking zones.