National Law, Policies and Acts

Indian Constitution: permalink

The Indian Constitution does not explicitly mention the right to adequate housing. However, it is induced in the below cited Articles and Directive Principles, and is further strengthened by Article 14; 15 (1); 15 (3); 16; 19 (1)(g)

  • Article 19 (1) (d):_ “The right of every citizen to move freely throughout the territory of India”_
  • Article 19 (1) (e): “The right of every citizen to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India”
  • Article 21: “The right to protection of life and personal liberty except according to procedure established by law

Directive Principles of State Policy (Part IV of the Constitution)

  • Article 39 (a): “State policy to be directed to securing for both men and women equally the right to an adequate means of livelihood”
  • Article 47: “The State shall regard the raising of the level of nutrition and the standard of living…”

Policies: permalink

  • National Urban Housing and Habitat Policy 2007
  • “Specially designed slum improvement programmes will also be encouraged which focus on upgrading of basic services and environment improvement of urban slums with a participative, in-situ slum rehabilitation approach.”
  • “The Policy gives primacy to provision of shelter to the urban poor at their present location or near their work place and efforts will be made to ensure that rights provided are non-transferable for a period of 10-15 years.”
  • “Only in cases where relocation is necessary on account of severe water pollution, safety problems on account of proximity to rail track or other critical concerns relocation of slum dwellers will be undertaken. In such cases, special efforts will be made to ensure fast and reliable transportation to work sites.“

Acts permalink

  • Slum Areas (improvement and Clearance Act (1956)
  • “…improvement and clearance of slum areas in certain Union territories and for the protection of tenants in such areas from eviction.”
  • “Proceedings for eviction of tenants not to be taken without permission of the competent authority”: (4) “the competent authority shall take into account the following factors, namely: a) whether alternative accommodation within the means of the tenant would be available to him if he were evicted; (b) whether the eviction is in the interest of improvement and clearance of the slum areas; (c) such other factors, if any, as may be prescribed”
  • “...order demolition of buildings unfit for human habitation”: “the building shall be vacated within a period to be specified in the order not being less than thirty days”
  • The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act (2013)
  • “An act to ensure…a humane, participative, informed and transparent process for land acquisition for industrialisation, development of essential infrastructural facilities and urbanisation with the least disturbance to the owners of the land and other affected families and provide just and fair compensation to the affected families…and make adequate provisions for such affected persons for their rehabilitation and resettlement and for ensuring…that affected persons become partners in development leading to an improvement in their post acquisition social and economic status…”
  • Mandates a_ “preliminary investigation for determination of social impact and public purpose” _as specified by government
  • “…a notification to that effect along with details of the land to be acquired in rural and urban areas shall be published…”
  • “In every resettlement area as defined under this Act, the Collector shall ensure the provision of all infrastructural facilities and basic minimum amenities”
  • “The Collector having determined the market value of the land to be acquired shall calculate the total amount of compensation to be paid to the land owner…by including all assets attached to the land” (moveable and immovable).
  • “The Central Government may, whenever necessary, for national or inter-State projects, constitute a National Monitoring Committee for reviewing and monitoring the implementation of rehabilitation and resettlement schemes or plans under this Act.”
  • The Protection of Human Rights Act (1993)
  • “An act to provide for the constitution of a National Human Rights Commission, State Human Rights Commissions in States and Human Rights Courts for better protection of human rights and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.”
  • Definition: “ ‘human rights’ means the rights relating to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed by the Constitution or embodied in the International Covenants and enforceable by courts in India”
  • The Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act (2014)
  • Survey of street vendors and protection from eviction or relocation: “No street vendor shall be evicted or, as the case may be, relocated till the survey specified under sub-section (1) has been completed and the certificate of vending is issued to all street vendors”
  • Relocation or eviction of street vendors:
  • “No street vendor shall be relocated or evicted by the local authority from the place specified in the certificate of vending unless he has been given thirty days’ notice for the same in such manner as may be specified in the scheme.”
  • “relocation should be avoided as far as possible, unless there is clear and urgent need for the land in question”
  • “affected vendors or their representatives shall be involved in planning and implementation of the rehabilitation project”
  • “affected vendors shall be relocated so as to improve their livelihoods and standards of living or at least to restore them in real terms to pre-evicted levels”