The street vendors of Munnar, who were evicted by the Revenue authorities, cannot claim any protection under the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending Act, 2014) Act as the area under the Munnar grama panchayat will not come under the ambit of the Act, according to the Kerala High Court.
The court, while dismissing a batch of petitions filed by a few evicted vendors, noted that the Act was passed to protect the street vendors who were vending in urban areas.
The Section 2(c) of the Act defines local authority as municipal corporation or a municipal council or a nagar panchayat or Cantonment Board or such other body entitled to function as a local authority in any city or town to provide civic services.
As per the Kerala Municipalities Act, the government shall by notification in gazette constitute a town panchayat for a transitional area.
It is only when Munnar grama panchayat is notified as a town panchayat under the act, it can be treated as a nagar panchayat as defined under the Act. In the absence of any such notification, the petitioners cannot claim protection under the act, the court said.
The government pleader submitted that all the petitioners were evicted before them filing the writ petitions.