The Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending)Act, 2014 is a central legislation enacted with the object of giving protection to the street vendors to earn their livelihood rights along with regulating their activities that not to cause any disturbance to the public. In India street vendors population is about 10 million and unfortunately most of them are not holding any license or permit for doing their trade. In many states without having proper license and doing street vending business was a cognizable offense. In order to protect the livelihood rights and to give them proper security a policy was introduced in the year 2004 and was revised in year 2009 as National Policy on Urban Street Vendors. The Union Ministry circulated a draft bill among the states for enacting new state legislation, but it didn’t work well. The Supreme Court in the year 2010 approves street vending as livelihood source and instructed the Central government to make a uniform legal frame work in respect to street vending across the country. Accordingly a bill named the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill was introduced in the year 2012 and later on passed by Loksabha and Rajyasabha in the year 2013 and 2014 respectively. On march 2014 the President of India gave his assent and the Act came into effect on may 2014 and extends to whole India other than Jammu and Kashmir.
This Act consist of 39 Section, divided into 10 chapters and II schedules. It enables the Town Vending Committee as appointed by the appropriate state government to conduct surveys and issue certificate of vending to street vender in those areas which comes under their jurisdiction in every five years in order to protect them from eviction, but subject to restriction. As per the Act the street vendor has the right to get a certificate of vending but subject to certain condition and if there is any disagreement, it will be settled by a Committee constituted by the concerned Government which consist of a civil or judicial magistrate as a Chairperson and two other experienced professional but shall not be any employee of the government. The Act specifies various categories for the issuance of certificate and identity cards for the street vendors. The criteria and the vending fee for issuing certificate is specified in the scheme laid down by the appropriate Government. The validity and renewal period of the certificate shall also specified in the scheme. The Town Vending Committee has the power to cancel or suspend the vending certificate if it is obtained through fraud or on the breach of conditions or rules by the street vendor, but a reasonable opportunity must be given to the vendor to explain his side. As such the rights and duties of street vendors are also clearly stated in the Act. The local authority is entrusted with the power to evict and relocate street vendors on recommendation of Town Vending Committee. In case of default, street vendors are liable to pay penalty of 250 rupees for every day of default. The Act provides for a dispute redressal mechanism through a Committee and any street vendor aggrieved can approach the Committee as constituted under section 20(1) for the redressal of their grievances and if not satisfied with Committee’s decision can make an appeal to the local authority. As per the provisions of the Act, the street vendors are entrusted with such right to prevent them from police and other harassment. In contraventions of the terms and conditions specified in the certificate the street vendors are legally responsible to a penalty which will be decided by the local authority and that may extend to 2000 rupees. The Act restricts any temporary or permanent ownership right of street vendor in carry out any vending business in vending zone entrusted to him in accordance with the Act. The appropriate government can delegate its powers and functions except the scheme framing and rule making powers to the Town Vending Committee , local authority or any officer as deem fit by making a general or special order. The Central Government on the recommendation of the state governments or appropriate government has the power to amend both the Schedule and also to make rule with regards to matters specified therein in order to satisfy the provisions of the Act. Any rules or schemes made by the Central Government or the State Government should be made before each House of parliament or House of State Legislature for approval. The plans and matters of street vending schemes are specified in Schedule I and II respectively so as to serve the purpose of the Act.
The Indian Constitution guarantees every citizen, the right to earn livelihood under Article 21, right to do business or trade under Article 19 as well as equal protection before law under Article 14. These core spirit of the basic charter of the country which eventually resulted in the creation this Act and thereby protect the street vendors to earn for their decent living without hassle. Above all the Act also promotes areas like social security ,social and economic planning, insurance, employment, condition of work etc of List III of the Constitution. The Act to a great extend fulfils the hope of street vendors and protects their rights along with social security. As part of the implementation process, various State Governments across the country established TVC at different cities and issued vending cards to vendors. But as far as the other side is concerned the proviso of the Act shall not be applicable to trains and related land and premises governed under the Railway Act 1989.