The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) had recently sent out general public notices to ban the sale of sugarcane juice and cut fruit from being sold in the open by the street vendors, without a license. Following this move the National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) had filed a PIL calling the move arbitrary, without having any relevant material and said that the same was ultra-vires as there was no statutory provision for this in the DMC Act. NASVI had criticized MCD guideline for street vendors as being too stringent and not at all practical.
NASVI is an organization that acts as a watchdog to protect the interest of street vendors. It is a collective of street vendor organisations which makes available information about good practices, initiatives, policies and laws, methods of struggle, court judgments etc related to street vending and street vendors. They also support street vendors in their endeavours to make a livelihood.
A Delhi High Court bench, comprising justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Siddharth Mridul set aside the MCD notices and said that no vendor can be evicted as a survey of street vendors had not yet been completed so the provision of the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014 would apply.
The Delhi High Court also said that the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) under the Food Standards and Safety Act, already have the regulations in place and so those ensure that the food sold by vendors is safe and hygienic. The Court considered the FSSAI to be well empowered to ensure that all regulations are being maintained by street food vendors. Moreover, the FSSAI regulations naturally overrule the general guidelines of the MCD said the Justices.
The Court also said that FSSAI would ensure that the food and safety standards are being maintained and that the food sold by vendors is free from disease causing contaminants. FSSAI would also take action if the food safety guidelines are not followed as per the FSS Act 2006.
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