Street Vending Not Allowed on Highways Without Prior Permission of Authority

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In the case of T.P. Cherian Phillip v. National Highways Authority of India decided by a division bench of the Kerala High Court on August 2015 upheld the decision of the learned Single Judge that the street vending is not allowed on Highways without prior permission of authority. The question before the Court was whether the right granted under the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014 can be claimed by a street vendor/ stationary vendor on a National Highway. In this case the appeal was filed by T.P. Cherian Philip against a single judge’s verdict rejecting his plea against his eviction from the land of national highway authorities. He contended that the Kochi Corporation had granted him licence to conduct Thattukada on the land. Besides, he had obtained a registration under the Food Safety and Standard Act as well. According to him, he had every right to carry on his business as guaranteed under Article 19(1) (g) of the Constitution. The bench held that the areas where street vendors were allowed came under the jurisdiction of local authority only. Had the Parliament intended to give the right to vend on the land of National Highway, the Act would have indicated or included the land of highway in it. The Court also said that no one could use the land of highway without the permission of National Highways Authority. . However, the Court made clear that as per the provisions of the 2014 Act, right to street vendors to render services to public have been given in ‘vending zone’ in the ‘local authority’ which includes footpath, sidewalk, pavement, embankment, street, public park etc. and does not contemplate any such street vending on the National Highway.The Court concluded that there is no error in the notice issued by the National Highways Authority directing the appellant to vacate the premises, and directed the appellant to seek for relocation of bunk shop before the Kochi Corporation.

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