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The Delhi government is spending liberally to dress up the capital before the Commonwealth Games in October, but the Supreme Court has chided it for neglecting India Gate — Delhi’s famous landmark.The judges criticised the civic body for not enforcing rules on no-hawking zones. “India Gate is a high-security zone but look at the mess there. There are so many hawkers crowding the place that it becomes impossible for people to walk. The place is so dirty that you cannot walk there without stepping on filth,” a bench of justices GS Singhvi and AK Ganguly said. They were hearing cases on Delhi’s hawking zones.Once hawking zones and silent zones have been demarked, it’s for the civic body to see that people follow rules, the court said. The apex court can’t afford to waste time hearing applications on hawking zones since it can’t give directions to civic bodies in the matter, the judges said.“We do not have time. We would rather hear cases on death sentences or divorces,” the court said.People living on pavements too have a right to livelihood, the judges said, referring to lawsuits filed in 1987 giving hawkers the right to sell their products. “Your entire system is rotten,” the judges told the counsel for civic bodies. “When the government doesn’t implement its schemes, people are forced to squat. So, in a way, an illegal act is legalised by the government.”

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