Supreme Court Order-

The issues related to street vendor’s rights and privileges are not of a recent concern. It can be dated back to 1980 with matters like Bombay Hawkers Union Vs. Bombay Municipal Corporation (1985)3 SCC 528, Sodan Singh Vs. New Delhi Municipal Committee (1989)4 SCC 155, Gainda Ram vs. Municipal Corporation of Delhi (2010) 10 SCC 715. One reason which has contributed to this scenario is that unlike other sections of the urban population, the street vendors neither have the capacity and strength to demand that the Government should create jobs for them nor do they engage in begging, stealing or extortion. They try to live with dignity and self respect by doing the work as street vendors/hawkers.

However, National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) kept on struggling with the issues of the street vendors and never let it go. And finally on 9th September 2013, Hon’ble Justice G.S Singhvi of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India passed 28 pages long judgment in the civil appeal no: 4156-4157 of 2002 titled, “Maharashtra Ekta Hawkers Union and another Vs. Municipal Corporation, Greater Mumbai. The most important and relevant portion of the judgment was, “All the existing street vendors/hawkers operating across the country shall be allowed to operate till the exercise of registration and creation of vending/ hawking zones is completed in terms of the 2009 policy. Once that exercise is completed, they shall be entitled to operate only in accordance with the orders/directions of the concerned town vending committee.” This judgment has given all the street vendors across the country a ray of hope that they are also considered as an important part of the society and their rights are also important.

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