PRATAP PANDURANG PITALE Vs. STATE OF BOMBAY
LAWS(BOM)-1954-1-6
HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY
Decided on January 27,1954

PRATAP PANDURANG PITALE Appellant
VERSUS
STATE OF BOMBAY Respondents




JUDGEMENT

- (1.)This is a petition for an appropriate writ, direction or order preventing the State of Bombay from enforcing a requisition order dated 31-10-1953.
(2.)The petitioner alleges that since the year 1941 he has been the tenant of flat No. 8 on the third floor of Neelain Mansion, Tribhowan Road, Bombay. In October 1950 one A.G. Pandit, a close friend of the petitioner's father, died in the said flat. Thereafter on 18-4-1952, Government issued a notice to show cause why the property should not be requisitioned under Section 5 or Section 6(4) (a) of the Bombay Land Requisition Act, 1948. The petitioner showed cause against the notice and the Mehtaji of the landlord also submitted before the Accommodation Officer that the petitioner was his tenant. Nonetheless by the requisition order dated 31-10-1953, Government made a declaration that the premises had become vacant in the month of October 1950 and proceeded to requisition the premises.
(3.)Now, the only ground on which this petition has been argued before me is that the requisition order infringes the fundamental rights of the petitioner guaranteed under Article 19(1)(f) of the Constitution of India. The argument as I see it is that the petitioner, being the tenant, was as such tenant entitled to "hold" the property in the sense of enjoying it. That is a right conferred under Article 19(1)(f). By the order of requisition his right of holding the property is restricted and the restrictions 'Imposed must be under Article 19(5) "reasonable re strictions." In considering whether the restrictions are or are not reasonable, it is now well settled that the procedure prescribed for imposing such restrictions may also be taken into account and the procedure must also be reasonable. What is urged by the petitioner is that the Bombay Land Requisition Act,' Section 6 (4), confers the power of requisition in cases in which the premises have become vacant. The proviso to that section which enacts that the "declaration made by Government that the premises were vacant or had become vacant is conclusive evidence enables Government to make a declaration irrespective of whether the premises are in fact vacant or not and is therefore unreasonable and thus the restriction itself on the right of the tenant to enjoy the property is unreasonable.


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