VIDYA SAGAR Vs. UNION OF INDIA AND TWO
HIGH COURT OF HIMACHAL PRADESH
UNION OF INDIA AND TWO
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DEVINDER GUPTA,J. -
(1.) The petitioner in this Writ Petition, has sought for direction against the respondents for framing a scheme for allotment of shops and Khokhas in Beas Sutlej Link Colony Market to the widows and dependents of those workmen who died while in service and to the retrenched/unemployed workmen and after scheme is prepared to further direct the respondents to make an order of allotment within a reasonable time on payment of reasonable rent and till an order of allotment is made in his favour, petitioner has prayed for protecting his possession in the Khokha, in question.
(2.) The averments made in the petition on the basis of which directions have been sought are that petitioner is about 37 years of age and is under -martic. His right leg is amputated due to which he suffers from 50% permanent disability. He was dependent upon his elder brother late Om Parkash who was working as Beldar in B.S.L. Project at Sundernagar. Said Om Parkash died in a fatal accident while on duty on 9 -3 -1981. After his death, petitioner per force had to look after and maintain widow and two daughters of his late brother. As per the custom prevalent in their community petitioner later on entered into martial ties with the widow of his brother. On compassionate grounds the petitioner was given employment by the 3rd respondent as work -charged Beldar from 22 -4 -1971 to 30 -3 -1984. The petitioner was ultimately discharged vide Annexure P -2 on completion of the components of Bias Project and handing over of those components by respondent No. 2. It is a case of petitioner that he was not rehabilitated by the respondents. Persons similarly situated had approached this Court by filing C W.P. No. 87 of 1985 and on the basis of interim direction issued by this Court, respondents No I and 2 prepared a scheme for providing employment in 40 posts only - Since the petitioner was not provided any employment under the scheme, he preferred C.W.P. No. 1 of 1986 which was dismissed on 21 -4 -1986. It is also the case of the petitioner that during the period of his unemployment after 30 -3 -1984, in order to maintain himself and other members of his family, he had to set up a small business of selling cigarette/Beeris etc. by constructing a temporary shed (Khokha) measuring 5 feet x 4 feet in Khokha market within Beas Link Colony at Sundemagar. Since no scheme, rules and regulations for allotment of Khokha/shops situate within the colony market had been prepared, the persons running a Khokha and the shopkeepers were at the mercy of the project authorities. Like petitioner, there were various unemployed persons as well as widows and dependents of those workmen who had died while under the employment of B S L Project, who had to construct such Khokhas to make their both ends meet. According to the petitioner there were 130 shops and about 150Kbokbas in the colony. A fire broke out in the year 1974 and the project authorities constructed Pucca shops and allotted them on nominal rent. Khokhas were thereafter constructed by those persons to whom shops were not allowed. Most of such Khokhas have been constructed by the retrenched workers like the petitioner. Since there are no rules/ regulations for allotment of shops/khokhas and there is no provision for giving preference to the widows and dependents of the deceased workmen and retrenched/unemployed workmen to rehabilitate them, petitioner has prayed for framing of a scheme for allotment of such Khokhas. It is the petitioners case that one of the residential quarters had been allotted to him and he was sought to be evicted from that residential quarter as well as from the Khokha on the ground that the same is unauthorised and is an encroachment by the side of public road. On these basis the petitioner has sought direction by urging that the act of respondents in evicting the petitioner was arbitrary and violative of the provisions of constitution, since it is the State who has to secure to its citizens an adequate means of its livelihood and right of work and therefore, have prayed for framing of the scheme.
(3.) On 9 -6 -1986 on an application made by the petitioner this Court granted ad -interim relief directing that the petitioner shall not be evicted from residential quarter as well as from the Khokha in his possession till further orders. Respondents, thereafter were called upon to file their reply. On 5 -8 -1986, reply was filed on the affidavit of Chief Engineer, Beas Sutlej Link Project, Sundernagar wherein it was stated that the petitioner was a work -charged employee of Beas Sutlej Link Project under the Bias Construction Board and was retrenched on 30 -3 -1984 in accordance with law and be had been paid all due compensation, as admissible under the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act. It was further stated that a large number of Khokhas had unauthorisedly been constructed on both sides of the main road in the colony by various people and some of them were not even the retrenched employees of the project. Respondents highlighted the manner in which unauthorised Mushroom growth of Khokhas had come up by stating that the number of such Khokhas is increasing day by day and besides giving bad look to the colony it was creating hinderance in the smooth running of traffic and was also a source of unhygenic condition in the township. The existence of the Khokhas by the side of road had posed danger and hinderance in smooth running of traffic, therefore, it was decided to remove these Khokhas by evicting the unauthorised occupants for which purpose proceedings for their eviction, including the petitioner under the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971 had been initiated. It was stated that petitioner had no legal right to continue occupying the Khokha or to maintain the Writ Petition. In so far as shops within Beas Sutlej Link markets were concerned it was averred that there were two markets constructed by the project authorities and the shops were being allotted to shop -keepers in an open auction and thereafter proper lease deed is executed. Terms and conditions in the said deed govern the rights of the parties. As regards the residential accommodation, it was stated that the petitioner and other similarly situated persons were in unauthorised occupation thereof after they bad been retrenched and since they were settled in life and having separate income, they had no right to continue staying. There was also no space in the project colony where the petitioner and other similarly situated persons could be accommodated by allowing them to construct Khokhas.;
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