PANNA LAL Vs. STATE OF DELHI
HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
STATE OF DELHI, THROUGH COLLECTOR, DELHI
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Khosla, J. -
(1.) This petition under Article 226 of the Constitution has arisen in the following manner. The petitioner was residing in a house in School Lane, New Delhi, as a tenant. He was ejected from this house on the ground that his landlady required the house for her own personal use. He purchased the house in dispute which is situated in the Central Lane, Babar Road, and sought to obtain possession of it from the tenant who is an employee of the Reserve Bank of India. He served the tenant with a notice and brought an application for ejectment. In the meantime Government took steps to requisition the house under the provisions of Act 30 of 1952. A notice under Section 3 of the Act was issued on 3-11-1952 and the petitioner was required to show cause within a fortnight why the premises should not be requisitioned. The petitioner filed written objections on 17-11-1952. On 21-11-1952 the Collector who was the Requisitioning Authority in this case passed an order requisitioning the premises and said that he had taken into consideration the objections filed by the petitioner. The Collector had not given an opportunity to the petitioner to be heard personally or through counsel, nor had he afforded him an occasion for producing his evidence by affidavit or otherwise. The petitioner feeling aggrieved by this order filed an appeal to the Chief Commissioner, to whom powers had been delegated under Section 10 of the Act and this appeal was dismissed on 9-1-1953 without the petitioner being given any hearing. The petitioner then filed a petition for review to the Chief Commissioner and this review petition was dismissed on the 23rd of February 1853.
(2.) The petitioner's grievance before us is twofold. It has been contended in the first place that the competent authority did not give him a proper hearing as required by law, and, in the second place, it is urged that since the original tenant for whose benefit the premises were requisitioned was already in possession of the house the provisions of the Act could not have been called into action for requisitioning the house, because the Act contemplates requisitioning of houses for persons who are not in actual occupation.
(3.) The second contention has very little force although on a first reading of Sections 3, 4 and 7 it might appear that the only instances in which a house can be requisitioned are those where possession has not yet been obtained by the State, for these sections lay down the procedure for obtaining possession from the landlord or the previous tenant. But it seems to me that where premises which are lying vacant or are in possession of anyone can be requisitioned and handed over to a Government servant or such other person whose business is concerned with the purpose of the Union, then 'a fortiori' if such a person is already in possession, his possession can be continued.;
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