GURCHARAN SINGH JODH SINGH Vs. CHAIRMAN DELHI IMPROVEMENT TRUST NEW DELHI
HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
GURCHARAN SINGH JODH SINGH
CHAIRMAN DELHI IMPROVEMENT TRUST, NEW DELHI
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(1.) Two questions arise for decision in the present case viz., (1) whether it was within the competence of the Improvement Trust to evict the petitioners under the provisions of the Government Premises (Eviction) Act, 1950, and (2) whether the petitioners have 'locus standi' to ask for the issue of a writ under Article 226 of the Constitution.
(2.) The Delhi Improvement Trust was executing a development scheme on a plot of land measuring 31.97 acres when in the year 1947 a large number of displaced persons from Pakistan, who were unable to find accommodation for themselves, put up as many as 350 unauthorised structures on the said plot. These structures were mostly wooden shacks or 'kacha' houses and even the pucca buildings were constructed without adequate foundations and without obtaining the sanction of the Delhi Improvement Trust. A3 these constructions violated the building byelaws and defeated the object for which the scheme waa sanctioned and as the entire plot of land was. converted into a slum area, the improvement Trust sought the intervention of the police and endeavoured to demolish the unauthorised structures. The representatives of displaced persons approached the Government of India and on 12-7-1948 the Ministry of Relief and Rehabilitation issued a circular letter to Haqa Magistrates requesting them to issue instructions immediately to the police not to disallow completion of houses which were in an advanced stage of construction and to inform the public that such houses will be purely temporary and will be liable to be demolished on the expiry of three years. On 22-2-1952, that is, after the period of three years had expired, the Ministry of Works, Production and Supply enunciated certain principles which should be observed in exercising powers under the Government Premises (Eviction) Act, 1950. It directed that where a displaced person has occupied any public land without permission or has constructed any building on such land before 15-81950, he should not be evicted nor should such construction be removed unless the following conditions are fulfilled, that is to say:
(a) that alternative accommodation is provided before the order of eviction is passed; (b) that an 'ex gratia rehabilitation grant is made to the displaced person in every case in which a construction is demolished or removed; (c) that in the case of constructions which comply, or with suitable modification may be made fairly to comply, with the municipal requirements and Town Improvement plans, the value of the land in unauthorised occupation is assessed on a No Profit No Loss basis and that the displaced person is given an option to purchase the site occupied by him against payment in easy instalments of the value of the land assessed and on condition of paying the ground rent for the time being in force; and (d) that in the case of constructions which comply with the municipal requirements but not with the Town Improvement plans, such plans should be modified as to avoid as far as practicable the demolition or removal of the construction in consultation with the committee constituted for the purpose.
(3.) On 8-7-1953 the Chairman, Delhi Improvement Trust, issued notices under the Government Premises (Eviction) Act, 1950, calling upon the petitioners to vacate the premises occupied by them within a period of fifteen days from the date of service of the notice. These notices have evoked a number of petitions under Article 226 of the Constitution.;
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