WEST BENGAL HOUSING BOARD Vs. BHARWARLAL MUNDHRA & ORS.
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
WEST BENGAL HOUSING BOARD
Bharwarlal Mundhra And Ors.
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S.B. Sinha, J. -
(1.)This appeal is directed against a judgment and order dated 18 -04 -94 passed by Ajit Kumar Sengupta, J. in C.R. No. 3210(W) of 1983 whereby and whereunder the said learned Judge allowed the writ application filed by the writ petitioner. The fact of the matter lies in a very narrow compass.
On 09 -11 -95 the writ petitioner/respondent No. 1 purchased the plot number 1790 under Monza Manoharpur, J.L. No. 96 in the District of Hooghly measuring about 63 acre by a registered deed of conveyance. Thereafter his name was recorded as owner of the said plot in all the relevant settlement records as well as in the record of right On. 21 -12 -81 the Additional District Magistrate, Hooghly, requisitioned the said land in question in purported exercise of his power under Sec. 3 of the West Bengal Land (Requisition) Act, 1948 (hereinafter referred to for the sake of brevity as the said Act). The said order states that the requisition was made for implementation of the Housing Project at Manoharpur. The possession of the land was taken on 07 -01 -82 but admittedly prior thereto no notice in terms of sub -section (2) of Sec. 3 of the West Bengal Land (Requisition and Acquisition) Act. 1948 as well as Rule 2 framed thereunder was served upon him. The petitioner filed a writ petition before this Court which was marked as C.R. No. 5252(W) of 1982, inter alia, on the ground of non -service of notice. B.C. Ray, J (as His Lordship then was) issued a Rule and passed an interim order directing that the status -quo as on date he maintained for a period of two weeks from 17th February. 1983. The said interim order was extended from time to time. By a Judgment and order dated 23 -02 -83 Manoj Kumar Mukherjee, J. (as His Lordship then was) directed the respondents to serve copy of the impugned notice of the requisition purportedly issued under Sec. 3 of the said Act upon the writ petitioner and thereafter to proceed with the proceeding in question in accordance with law.
(2.)The notice under Sec. 3(2) of the said Act was served upon the petitioner on 27 -03 -83 whereafter the petitioner filed another writ application on 05 -04 -83. Again an order of status -quo was passed by Manoj Kumar Mukherjee, J.
(3.)The Court Directed the State as well as the other respondents to file affidavit -in -opposition. No affidavit -in opposition was filed by the State of West Bengal or by the Collector under the said Act. One affidavit was filed by Md. Nasiruddin Khan, Assistant Housing Commissioner West Bengal, inter alia, alleging therein that the requisition was made as Housing Board has undertaken a housing scheme as "Dankuni Housing Project" for providing residential accommodation mainly for people belonging to weaker sections, middle income and low income groups. It was further stated that suitable access is to be given through the land in question relating to the various constructions required to be raised by the Housing Board for the said Housing Project. However it was stated that Durgapur Express Highway was not complete and therefore the access through the impugned plot was required to be maintained. It was the contention of the deponent that no notice was therefore required to be served upon the petitioner. An affidavit -in -reply was filed to the said affidavit -in -opposition denying and disputing the statements made therein. By order dated 12 -07 -88 P.K. Mukherjee, J. observed that Durgapur Express Highway was also complete. The teamed Judge however noted the contention that there was no need to requisition the impugned plot of land only for the purpose of pathway since suitable access was already available to the Housing Board through Uttarpara Kalipur Road as well as through Durgapur Highway. It was also noted that nobody had appeared on behalf of the State Government to file affidavit. The learned Trial Judge further recorded that if neither the State nor the Collector filed any affidavit, the Court would presume that there was no application of mind on behalf of the State particularly having regard to the fact that the impugned notice was issued under a non -existent Act, namely West Bengal Land (Requisition) Act, 1948. The petitioner pursuant to the leave granted by the learned Judge filed an application for amendment of writ application taking additional grounds. Two learned Advocates of this Court were appointed as Special Officer who visited the plot in question and submitted a report. It appears that N.K. Podder, Sr. Advocate and P.K. Chatterjee. Advocate, submitted their reports to this Court By reason of the impugned judgment and order dated 18 -04 -94 the learned Trial Judge allowed the writ petition, inter alia, on the ground that no notice was served upon the petitioner prior to taking over the possession of the land in question as also on the ground that there has been a total non -application of mind on the part of the Collector. The learned Judge further held that the purpose for which requisition was made was not a public purpose.
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