The Supreme Court on Wednesday heard an application challenging the demolition of a night shelter for the homeless in Sarai Kale Khan by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) sans any alternative arrangement to relocate its residents..The matter was urgently mentioned by Advocate Prashant Bhushan this morning, since the DDA had already commenced the demolition activity."Last evening, demolition of the night shelter was ordered in Sarai Kale Khan. Demolitions was preponed and since they knew that we will mention the case, they are doing it now. Please see the pictures. We need immediate orders," Bhushan told a Bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud..Justice Chandrachud, in turn, directed Bhushan to mention the matter right away before another bench..When the matter was taken up by the Bench of Justices Hrishikesh Roy and Dipankar Datta, it was noted that no stay could be issued if the shelter was already demolished. As such, the Court said that it would deal with the aspect of rehabilitating the residents of the shelter. "Unfortunately, nothing can be done now if it is already demolished. We will deal with their rehabilitation. The urgency element is gone," the Court said. .The matter has been fixed for further hearing on February 22, when related cases concerning shelters are due to be taken up. .The application filed through Bhushan submitted that the decision to demolish the shelter was taken at a meeting of the State Level Shelter Monitoring Committee (SLSMC), following a proposal floated by the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB).The reasons given for the proposed demolition were two-fold:a) The Deputy Commissioner of Police, South East District, Delhi had recommended the removal of the shelter as it had become "subject to crime" and a "hide-out for history sheeters."b) The Horticulture Division had requested the removal since the DDA is constructing a Bamboo garden named Baansera in the area, and since the shelter home was located at the entrance of this "dream project". This site is one of the locations selected for the G-20 summit meetings due to be held in Delhi, the application added..Registering strong opposition to the move, the applicant contended,"Orders for the removal of the Shelter by criminalizing the homeless or for the beautification of the city and the construction of dream projects cannot be allowed and amounts to a gross violation of the right to life of the homeless.".Thus, a stay was sought on the demolition of the shelter, which housed over 50 homeless residents. The applicant had also pointed out that there were arrears in funds which were payable for the maintenance of these shelters, which was the reason for the pathetic situation that they were in.This was also a clear violation of court guidelines which called for the construction of adequate shelters in every city along with basic amenities to ensure that the homeless have a life of dignity, the applicant argued.Poor staffing, sanitation and maintenance of the shelter is not a ground for its removal, it was contended. Further, the applicant added that the Court should discourage the practice of branding homeless residents as "criminals" and "miscreants" without any basis.Apart from the prayer for a stay, the applicant had urged the Court to direct that no coercive force should be used against the homeless residents of the shelter.Moreover, the Court was called upon to direct the State to place on record its policy for resettlement or relocation prior to demolition or removal of any shelter for the urban homeless. In the absence of any such policy, the Court was urged to direct the framing of such a policy in a time-bound manner..On a related note, a batch of petitions challenging a demolition drive by the DDA in the area near Mehrauli Archaeological Park ahead of next month’s G20 meeting is presently pending before the Delhi High Court. On Tuesday, the High Court issued a stay on this demolition under February 16.