India's Supreme Court has provided temporary relief to hundreds of thousands of illegal businesses in the capital, Delhi.
A protest by shopkeepers in Delhi
The court has ruled that these businesses can continue till 31 October in view of the ongoing festival season.
The courts had ordered firms operating illegally in residential areas to shut. Traders say the drive will affect the livelihoods of at least 500,000 people.
Four people have been killed and many hurt in protests against the order.
India's highest court has said that shops which had appealed for relief will be allowed to continue their businesses till 31 October.
The judges criticised a government notification giving relief to some traders.
They told the government not to issue any similar notifications till the matter was decided by the court.
In a major relief to small traders, the court said that shops occupying up to 20 square metres of area would be allowed to operate in residential colonies.
The court, however said, that these shops would have to register themselves with the authorities by 31 December.
The municipal authorities began sealing shops in residential areas last year after the Supreme Court ordered a ban on illegal businesses to be enforced.
Protests across Delhi have since become widespread.
The main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has appealed to the Supreme Court to review its ruling.
The governing Congress party says it is trying to find a solution for those affected.
Traders say municipal authorities often take money from the poor and the middle-class in return for turning a blind eye to illegal constructions or encroachments on public land.