AMC sought to clarify that the Corporation wasn’t adopting a pick and choose policy, and rather, it was just clearing the roads in case of encroachment by the street vendors causing hindrance to public traffic.
Ahmedabad: Hearing a plea, filed by the 25 street vendors of Gujarat, over seizure of their carts amid selling non-vegetarian edibles, Gujarat High Court rapped on Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation. Gujarat High Court questioned the civic body that how can people be prevented from eating what they want to? The High Court also asked them not to throw away carts of these vendors to satisfy the ego of some.
Hearing the matter, the Bench of Justice Biren Vaishnav earlier today sought the presence of the Counsel for AMC before the Court as it orally remarked thus:
“You don’t like non-veg food, it is your lookout. How can you decide what people should eat? Suddenly because someone in power thinks that this is what they want to do? Tomorrow you will decide what I should eat outside my house? Tomorrow they will tell me that I should not consume sugarcane juice because it might cause diabetes or that coffee is bad for my health.”
Significantly, at 2:15 pm, when the AMC counsel appeared before the Court, the Bench asked him as to why such a drive was being undertaken wherein the non-veg food stall/laari/cart owners were being prevented from selling food items on the streets of Ahmedabad and as to why their cart/lari/stalls have been seized by the Corporation.
“People are selling omelets, eggs, and overnight you decide to pick them and throw them away because the party in power decides so? Just because the party in power says that it wants people to stop eating eggs, you will pick the food stall owners and throw them away? How dare you discriminate between people? Don’t undertake this drive to satisfy the ego of some people,” the Court sternly remarked.
[Case related to Ban on carts/stalls selling non-veg food]— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) December 9, 2021
The hearing resumes before the #GujaratHighCourt
Justice Biren Vaishnav: People are selling omelets, eggs, and overnight you decide to pick them and throw them away because the party in power decides so?#NonVegFood pic.twitter.com/W8K6ZlFBGz
In response to this, the Counsel for AMC sought to clarify that the Corporation wasn’t adopting a pick and choose a policy, and rather, it was just clearing the roads in case of encroachment by the street vendors causing hindrance to public traffic.
It was further submitted that in cases, where the cart/stall owners are encroaching upon the public road causing hindrance to pedestrians or public traffic, the AMC is taking action against them.
Requesting the Court to take his statements on record, the AMC counsel said thus:
“We are not following the policy of pick and choose. We haven’t singled out the vendors/hawkers who are selling non-veg food on the streets. The apprehension that non-veg food sellers are being removed from the roads is misconceived. Encroachment is being removed to enforce traffic regulations only. This is being done in furtherance of the court orders as well, to remove encroachment from public roads. The drive would be undertaken by the law, without any special preference to a particular group of people.”
Further, when the Counsel for the petitioners (street vendors/cart owners) sought the release of the items, material seized by the AMC, the Counsel for the Corporation undertook before the Court that in case the Petitioners approach the Corporation within 24 hours to release their carts, goods & materials, their cases would be dealt with by law as expeditiously as possible.
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