Supreme Court permalink

  • Francis Coralie vs. Union Territory of Delhi (1981)

    AIR 1981 SC 746, 1981 SCR (2) 516

    “The right to life includes the right to live with human dignity and all that goes along with it, namely, the bare necessaries of life such as adequate nutrition, clothing and shelter and facilities for reading, writing and expressing oneself in diverse forms, freely moving about and mixing and commingling with fellow human beings.”

  • Olga Tellis vs. Bombay Municipal Corporation (1985)

AIR 1986 SC 180, 1985 SCR Supl. (2) 51

“The petitioners before us do not claim the right to dwell on pavements or in slums for the purpose of pursuing any activity which is illegal, immoral or contrary to public interest. Many of them pursue occupations which are humble but honourable.”

“The problem of poverty has to be tackled by changing the structure of the society in which there will be a more equitable distribution of income and greater generation of wealth.”

“slum dwellers who were censused and were given identity cards must be provided with alternate accommodation before they are evicted.”

“The forcible eviction of squatters, even if they are resettled in other sites, totally disrupts the economic life of the household.”

  • Shantistar Builders vs. Narayan Khimalal Totame (1990)

    (1990) 1 SCC 520

    “… reasonable residence is an indispensable necessity for fulfilling the Constitutional goal in the matter of development of man and should be taken as included in 'life' in Article 21…”

  • U.P. Avas Evam Vikas Parishad vs. Friends Coop. Housing Society Ltd. (1995)

    AIR 1996 SC 114, 1995 SCC Supl. (3) 456

    “Right to shelter is a fundamental right, which springs from the right to residence assured in Art.19(1) (e) and right to life under Art.21 of the Constitution. No doubt their construction has also to be in accordance with lay out and building rules but that would not be a ground to refuse permission to them when they approached the authorities to sanction the same in accordance with law.”

  • Chameli Singh and Others vs. State of Uttar Pradesh (1996)

    1996 2 SCC 549

    “Protection of life guaranteed by Article 21

    _ encompasses within its ambit the right to shelter to enjoy the meaningful right to life”_

    “Right to live guaranteed in any Civilised society implies the right to food, water, decent environment education, medical care and shelter

  • Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation vs. Nawab Khan Gulab Khan and Others (1997)

    (1997) 11 SCC 121

    “They will be deprived of their livelihood if they are evicted from their slum and pavement dwellings”

    “It would, therefore, be clear that though no person has a right to encroach and erect structures or otherwise on footpath, pavement or public streets or any other place reserved or earmarked for a public purpose, the State has the Constitutional duty to provide adequate facilities and opportunities by distributing its wealth and resources for settlement of life and erection of shelter over their heads to make the right to life meaningful, effective and fruitful”

  • Almitra Patel vs. the Union of India (2000)

    (2000) 3 SCC 575

    “In Delhi which is the capital of the country and which should be its show piece no effective initiative of any kind has been taken by the numerous governmental agencies operating here in cleaning up the city.”

    “But when a large number of inhabitants live in unauthorised colonies, with no proper means of dealing with the domestic effluents, or in slums with no care for hygiene the problem becomes more complex.”

    “The number of slums has multiplied in the last few years by geometrical proportion. Large areas of public land, in this way, are usurped for private use free of cost.”

    The promise of free land, at the taxpayers cost, in place of a jhuggi, is a proposal which attracts more land grabbers. Rewarding an encroacher on public land with free alternate site is like giving a reward to a pickpocket.”

  • Tukaram Kana Joshi and Others vs. MIDC and Others (2012)

    CIVIL APPEAL NO.7780 OF 2012

    The right to property is now considered to be not only a constitutional or a statutory right, but also a human right. Though, it is not a basic feature of the Constitution or a fundamental right. Human rights are considered to be in realm of individual rights, such as the right to health, the right to livelihood, the right to shelter and employment etc. Now however, human rights are gaining an even greater multi faceted dimension. The right to property is considered, very much to be a part of such new dimension.”

Delhi High Court permalink

  • Okhla Factory Owners vs. GNCTD (2002)

    108 (2002) DLT 517

    “It is undoubtedly the duty of the Government authorities to provide shelter to the under-privileged. However, the respondents in their affidavits have admitted their failure to devise housing schemes for persons in the economically weaker sections of the society. This lack of planning and initiative on the part of respondents cannot be replaced by an arbitrary system of providing alternative sites and land to encroachers on public land. If the scheme were to be devised for the economically weaker sections of society based on a rational criteria, it would achieve a social objective. The basis cannot be encroachment on public land. Such a basis, in our considered view, would be arbitrary and illegal on the face of it. It encourages dishonesty and violation of law.“

  • P.K. Koul and Ors. vs. Estate Officer and Anr. and Ors. (2010)

    WP (C) No.15239/2004

    “The right to shelter springs from this right and has been considered to be an integral part for a meaningful enjoyment of right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution of India”

    “It is now an accepted rule of judicial construction that regard must be had to international conventions, norms and guiding principles for construing domestic law when there is no inconsistency between them and there is a void in the domestic law.”

  • Sudama Singh & Others vs Government of Delhi & Anr (2010)

    WP(C) No. 8904/2009

    “jhuggi dweller should not be treated as ‘secondary citizens’”

    “State’s constitutional and statutory obligation to ensure that if the jhuggi dweller is forcibly evicted and relocated, such jhuggi dweller is not worse off”

    “it is the State‘s constitutional and statutory obligation to ensure” that no jhuggi dweller is forcibly evicted and relocated and that (those to be evicted) have a right to a “meaningful engagement”

  • Ajay Maken & Ors v. Union of India (2019)

    W.P.(C) 11616/2015

    “The unilateral action of forced eviction of the jhuggi dwellers of Shakur Basti on 12th December 2015 by the Railways, with the assistance of the Delhi Police, resulted in a grave violation of the rights of life and liberty of the jhuggi dwellers, comprising children and adults, including the loss of shelter and personal belongings and being subjected to grave risk to their life and liberty in peak winter. The demolition exercise undertaken by the Railways on 12th December 2015 was contrary to the requirements of the law and the Constitution.”

    “The legal regime, both international and domestic, in relation to the right to adequate housing and the right against forced evictions is examined next. The International Covenant on Economic, Social

    and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), adopted in 1966 is a multi-party treaty, ratified by India in 1976.”

    “In the context of the right to shelter and its sub-species, the right to adequate housing, it is necessary to acknowledge that there is an increasing recognition in the international sphere of what is termed as the ‘right to the city' ”

    “The Court noted that this was a dire circumstance in which the life and liberty of the homeless residents of Shakur Basti were in grave danger. The Court enquired whether a survey had been conducted in Shakur Basti in order to ascertain how many of its residents were entitled to rehabilitation prior to being evicted.”

    _ “The right to adequate housing is a right to access several facets that preserve the capability of a person to enjoy the freedom to live in the city”_

Analysis of Judgements