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Cites 6 docs - [View All]
Article 14 in The Constitution Of India 1949
Article 19 in The Constitution Of India 1949
Northern India Caterers Private ... vs State Of Punjab And Another on 4 April, 1967
Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation ... vs Ramanlal Govindram & Ors on 14 March, 1975
Article 133(1) in The Constitution Of India 1949
Citedby 3 docs
Mohd. Jainul Ansari And Ors. vs Mohd. Khalil on 10 May, 1990
Madhaba Kara And Anr. And Mahant ... vs Puri Municipality And Ors. on 3 September, 1986
State Of Gujarat vs Dharamdas Viranand And Ors. on 18 November, 1981

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Supreme Court of India
State Of Gujarat vs Patel Bava Karsan & Ors on 22 February, 1980
Equivalent citations: 1980 AIR 1144, 1980 SCR (2)1087
Author: S M Fazalali
Bench: Fazalali, Syed Murtaza
           PETITIONER:
STATE OF GUJARAT

	Vs.

RESPONDENT:
PATEL BAVA KARSAN & ORS.

DATE OF JUDGMENT22/02/1980

BENCH:
FAZALALI, SYED MURTAZA
BENCH:
FAZALALI, SYED MURTAZA
KAILASAM, P.S.
KOSHAL, A.D.

CITATION:
 1980 AIR 1144		  1980 SCR  (2)1087
 CITATOR INFO :
 RF	    1982 SC 781	 (5)


ACT:
     Constitution of  India  1950,  Articles  14  and  19  &
Gujarat	 Municipality	Act  Sections  233  and	 236-Statute
empowering eviction  from  municipal  premise-An  appeal  to
government  against   the  order   of	eviction   provided-
Constitutional validity of provisions.



HEADNOTE:
     Section 233  of the  Gujarat Municipality Act empowered
the Chief  Officer of the Municipality to evict persons from
municipal premises.
     Respondent No.  1 in  the appeals	was  required  by  a
notice in  pursuance of	 the provisions of section 233(1) of
the Act	 to hand  over possession  of a piece of land to the
Municipality on	 the ground  that  he  was  in	unauthorised
occupation thereof.  The respondent  assailed the  notice in
proceedings under  Article 226	of the Constitution, and the
only point  in controversy was whether or not section 233 of
the Act	 under which the proceedings for eviction were taken
was constitutionally  valid. The  High Court  in view  of  a
previous decision  of that court held that section 233 being
violative of Article 14 of the Constitution was ultra vires.
     In the appeals to this Court it was contended on behalf
of  the	  respondents:	(1)  that  the	Ahmedabad  Municipal
Corporations case  was not  correctly decided because though
in Chhaganlal Maganlal's case there was a right to appeal to
a Civil	 Court and  the right  to take evidence was given by
the Statute  concerned, in  the former, the relevant statute
contained no such provisions, and (2) that the provisions of
the  Gujarat  Act  were	 violative  of	Article	 19  of	 the
Constitution.
     Allowing the appeals,
^
     HELD :  (1)(i) The	 judgment of  the High	Court is set
aside and  the order  of  the  Chief  Officer  dated  9-3-66
affirmed. [1090G]
     (ii) In  the case	of Northern Indian Caterers' Private
Limited v.  State of  Punjab and  others. [1967] 3 SCR, 399,
this Court while considering a statute whose provisions were
almost similar	to those  of section  233 of the Gujarat Act
took the  same view  as the  High Court	 and struck down the
Statute.  This	 decision  held	  the  field  until  it	 was
ultimately overruled  in the  case of  Chhaganlal  Maganlal,
[1975] 1  SCR 1.  In a later decision in Ahmedabad Municipal
Corporation and	 others v.  Raman Lal  Govind Ram and others
[1975] 3  SCR 935,  this Court	while following	 the case of
Chhaganlal  Maganlal   upheld  a  provision  of	 the  Bombay
Provincial Municipal  Corporation (Gujarat  Amendment)	Act,
1963 which  was in  pari materia  with section	233  of	 the
Gujarat Act. [1090A-C]
     (iii) Once	 the property belonging to the Government or
semi-Government bodies	is held	 to fall within a particular
class and  therefore a	reasonable classification, whether a
civil remedy  is given	or not	would not  be  violative  of
Article 14 of the Constitution. [1090D-E] 15-138SCI/80
1088
     (iv) Under Section 236, the respondents have a right to
file an	 appeal to the Government against the impugned order
of eviction. This section also contains a specific provision
under which the delay can be condoned if sufficient cause is
shown to  the satisfaction of the appellate authority namely
the Government. It will be open to the respondent to file an
appeal which  will be  disposed	 of  by	 the  Government  in
accordance with law. [1090G-H, 1091A]
     (2) The  contention that  the provisions of the Gujarat
Act were  violative of	Article 19  of the  Constitution was
expressly considered  and negatived  in Ahmedabad  Municipal
Corporation & ors. v. Ramanla Govindaram & Ors. [1090E-F]



JUDGMENT:

CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION : Civil Appeal Nos. 1596 and 1224 of 1970.

From the Judgment and Order dated 31-1-1970 of the Gujarat High Court in SCA No. 438/66.

T. U. Mehta, D. N. Mishra and K. J. Johan for the appellant CA 1224/70 & RR. 1516/70.

S. C. Patel and M. N. Shroff for the Appellant CA No. 1596/70.

M. K. Ramamurthi and Vineet Kumar for Respondent No. 1 CA No. 1224/70.

S. C. Patel and M. N. Shroff for Respondent No. 2 CA No. 1224/70.

The Judgment of the Court was delivered by FAZAL ALI, J. This appeal by certificate is directed against a judgment of the Gujarat High Court dated 31-1-1970 issuing a writ of mandamus to the Rajkot Municipality directing it to desist from enforcing a notice dated 9-3- 1966 served on respondent No. 1 and requiring him in pursuance of the provisions of s. 233(1) of the Gujarat Municipality Act (hereinafter referred to as the Gujarat Act') to hand over possession of a piece of land to the Municipality on the ground that he was in unauthorised occupation thereof. The only point in controversy before the High Court was as to whether or not s. 233 of the Gujarat Act, under which the proceedings for eviction of the respondent No. 1 were taken, was constitutionally valid. The High Court in view of a previous decision of that Court held that s. 233 being violative of Art. 14 of the Constitution of India was ultra vires. The appellants applied for certificate for leave to appeal under Art. 133(1) (c) which was granted; hence this appeal.

Section 233 of the Gujarat Act runs thus:- "233. Power to evict certain persons from municipal premises. (1) If the Chief Officer is satisfied-

(a) that the person authorised to occupy any premises belonging to the municipality (hereinafter referred to 1089 as "the municipal premises") as a tenant or otherwise has-

(i) not paid rent lawfully due from in respect of such premises for a period of more than two months, or

(ii) sub-let, without the permission of the municipality, the whole or any part of such premises, or

(iii) otherwise acted in contravention of any of the terms, express or implied, under which he is authorised to occupy such premises, or

(b) that any person is in unauthorised occupation of any municipal premises, the Chief Officer may, notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the time being in force, by notice served (i) by post or (ii) by affixing a copy of it on the outer door or some other conspicuous part of such premises, or (iii) in such other manner as may be provided in the rules made by the State Government order that the person as well as any other person who may be in occupation of the whole or any part of the premises, shall vacate them within one month of the date of the service of the notice.

(2) Before an order under sub-section (1) is made against any person the Chief Officer shall inform the person by notice in writing of the grounds on which the proposed order is to be made and give him a reasonable opportunity of tendering an explanation and producing evidence, if any, and to show cause why such order should not be made, within a period to be specified in such notice. If such person makes an application to the chief officer for extension of the period specified in the notice the chief officer may grant the same on such terms as to payment and recovery of the amount claimed in the notice as it deems fit. Any written statement put in by such person and documents produced in pursuance of such notice shall be filed with the record of the case and such person shall be entitled to appear before the authority proceeding in this connection by advocate, attorney or 1090 pleader. Such notice in writing shall be served in the manner provided for service of notice under sub-section (1).

	    ....					....
...."

It appears that in the case of Northern India Caterers Pvt. Ltd. & Anr. v. State of Punjab & Anr.(1) this Court while construing a statute whose provisions were almost similar to those of s. 233 of the Gujarat Act took the same view as the High Court and struck down the statute. This decision held the field until it was ultimately overruled in the case of Chhaganlal Maganlal(2).

In a later decision in Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation & Ors. v. Ramanlal Govindram & Ors.(3) this Court while following the case of Chhaganlal Maganlal upheld a provision of the Bombay Provincial Municipal Corporation (Gujarat Amendment) Act, 1963 which was in pari materia with s. 233 of the Gujarat Act. Mr. M. K. Ramamurthi appearing for the respondents submitted that Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation's case (supra) was not correctly decided because though in Chhaganlal Maganlal's case (supra) there was a right to appeal to a Civil Court and the right to take evidence was given by the statute concerned, in the former, the relevant statute contained no such provision. This contention does not appear to be well-founded because once property belonging to the Government or semi-Government bodies is held to fall within a particular class and therefore a reasonable classification, whether a civil remedy is given or not would not be violative of Art. 14 of the Constitution on the broad principle laid down in Chhaganlal Maganlal's case.

It was also argued that the provisions of the Gujarat Act were violative of Art. 19 of the Constitution of India. This contention was expressly considered and negatived by this Court in Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation & Ors. v. Ramanlal Govindram & Ors. (supra) with which we find ourselves in complete agreement. We, therefore, allow these appeals, set aside the judgment of the High Court and affirm the order of the Chief Officer dated 9-3-1966.

We might, however, observe that under section 236 of the Gujarat, Act, the respondents have a right to file an appeal to the Government against the impugned order of eviction. This section also contains a specific provision under which delay can be condoned if sufficient cause is shown to the satisfaction of the appellate autho-

1091

rity namely the Government. In these circumstances, it will be open to the respondents to file an appeal to the Government against the order of eviction passed by the Chief Officer which will be disposed of by the Government in accordance with the law.

There will be no order as to costs.

N.K.A.					    Appeals allowed.
1092