On the eve of India’s General Elections, Housing and Land Rights Network India (HLRN) held a press conference in New Delhi today to release a new publication: Adjudicating the Human Right to Adequate Housing: Analysis of Important Judgments from Indian High Courts.
As documented by HLRN, India’s courts often have ordered evictions. However, in several instances, the Indian judiciary also has protected the human right to housing and provided relief against forced evictions. Adjudicating the Human Right to Adequate Housing presents an analysis of progressive judgments from High Courts across India that have upheld this human right and the state’s corresponding obligations.
In the absence of rights-based housing laws and policies, justiciability of the right to housing has been limited in India. This publication is important because it documents cases where the judiciary has acknowledged inadequate living conditions of lower-income groups and emphasized positive obligations of the state with regard to recognition and protection of their rights, including to adequate housing.
While presenting major trends related to the fulfilment of various aspects of the right to housing, HLRN’s publication also highlights the inconsistent approach of the Indian judiciary in adjudicating the right to housing. Even when the right to housing is affirmed as a human right in international law, including treaties ratified by India, relief provided to marginalized groups is often limited. The new publication provides a resource for legal practitioners and the public to help build jurisprudence on the human right to housing, while strengthening the awareness and use of affirmative legal precedents in India.