The Bombay high court has refused to grant any relief to hawkers who were evicted from outside Diamond House Pancharatna at Opera House.
A division bench of justice Abhay Oka and justice SS Jadhav refused the grant them permission and said, "This petition cannot be named a criminal writ petition. The petitioner must make the necessary amendments and convert it into a civil writ petition."
In their petition, the Pancharatna Hawkers Vendors Welfare Association claims that the police illegally stopped them from putting up their stalls after the 13/7 triple blasts. The association said, "Normalcy has been restored at other places that have witnessed terror attacks, but we are being denied our livelihood."
After the serial blasts, in which 27 people died, the state had evicted the hawkers to ensure tight security measures. Now a year on, the hawkers association moved the HC seeking directions to the police commissioner and civic body to allow them to resume their business on the busy street.
Moreover, hawkers have been in this dispute with authorities for over a decade. In 2000, the HC had directed the BMC to implement a scheme to regulate hawking zones in the city, after which the civic body had deleted Opera House from being a hawking zone.
Hawkers challenged this decision in the Supreme Court and in 2003, the SC had ordered that a status quo be maintained by which hawkers were allowed to run their stalls. But after the blasts at Opera House, Zaveri Bazaar and Dadar, the police and the BMC did not allow them to resume business.