ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Illegality and the Urban Poor

"Cleaning up" the city usually employs demolition as an effective tool to clear the lands and disperse the poor. But for decades, the violence of demolition was tempered by a policy of resettlement which, even when partially and imperfectly implemented, gave demolition a veneer of legitimacy. But the notion of housing for the urban poor has acquired an "illegality" in the last five years. The judiciary has been a significant contributor to this evolving jurisprudence on shelter, housing and the urban poor. The constitutionality that ensured every citizen the fundamental rights of livelihood, housing and shelter has now been revised, reinvented and supplanted by a legality that sees the urban poor as encroachers and a threat to civic existence.

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