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The Madras High Court has made it mandatory for those seeking licence from the Greater Chennai Corporation for establishing bunk shops on roadsides to produce their Aadhaar cards in order to prevent individuals from obtaining licences for multiple shops, and give an undertaking that they shall not sell cigarettes and other tobacco-based products.
Justice S. Vaidyanathan imposed the condition while disposing of a batch of writ petitions filed by a number of existing bunk shop owners at Anna Nagar, Ambattur, Vepery and other localities seeking a direction to the Corporation Commissioner to consider their plea for grant of licence by the town vending committees constituted for the purpose.
The petitioners had pointed out that the Corporation had constituted a number of committees, as required under the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act of 2014 for protecting the rights of urban street vendors and regulating street vending by identifying the vendors and granting licences to them.
However, since their names had been left out, they sought a direction to the Corporation Commissioner to consider their cases too. In reply, the Corporation brought it to the notice of the court that there were 629 bunk shops under 15 different zones of the civic body and 257 of them had already obtained court orders to consider their cases.
He said that the vending/hawking committees must ensure that bunk shops were not established near schools, colleges and hospitals and “they shall not sell any hazardous products like cigarettes etc.”
The judge ordered that their plea should be considered within a month.