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Delhi's Hawkers' body slams first FIR against street vendor under new criminal laws

The association of the street vendors called on the human rights advocates and citizens to raise their voice against the incident.
Last Updated : 01 July 2024, 16:38 IST

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New Delhi: The National Hawker Federation, Delhi, slammed the first FIR registered against a street vendor after the three new criminal laws came into effect on Monday and termed it "targeting of the underprivileged" and "misuse of power".

The association of the street vendors, which has more than 800 street vendor organisations, 11 central trade unions and NGOs across India and abroad, called on the human rights advocates and citizens to raise their voice against the incident.

The Delhi Police registered its first FIR under provisions of the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita against a street vendor in the Kamala Market area after the new criminal laws came into effect on Monday, bringing far-reaching changes in India's criminal justice system.

The police registered an FIR against the vendor for allegedly obstructing a public way to sell goods at a foot overbridge near the New Delhi station.

Criticising the action, the federation in a statement said, "It is a travesty that in a country where the Street Vendor Act 2014 was passed with full support from all political parties to protect and uplift street vendors, the very first FIR under the new Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita targets not a criminal, but a street vendor struggling to earn a living."

Sandeep Verma, convenor of the National Hawker Federation - Delhi, said "this incident highlights a gross misuse of power and a blatant disregard for laws meant to protect the underprivileged".

"We vehemently oppose this arbitrary police action and pledge to take all possible legal measures against this injustice. Furthermore, we are committed to organising a robust, constitutionally-backed movement to ensure the rights and dignity of street vendors are upheld," Verma said in a statement.

The federation demanded to immediately take back the case and urged the authorities to adhere strictly to the provisions of the Street Vendor Act, 2014.

The police has registered an FIR under Section 285 of the BNS which states, "Whoever, by doing any act, or by omitting to take order with any property in his possession or under his charge, causes danger, obstruction or injury to any person in any public way or public line of navigation, shall be punished with fine which may extend to Rs 5,000."

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Published 01 July 2024, 16:38 IST

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