Can High Court Award Compensation in Bulldozer Baba Act?
A bench of Allahabad High Court stated that “there is no doubt that by renting the property its owner may gain its livelihood, however, the same in itself cannot, amount to any profession or occupation or trade or business.In this case, certain constructions existing on khasra plot no.1689 (New No.163) situate in Tehsil-Rudauli, District-Ayodhya were demolished by the Railways authorities without giving any show cause notice or prior information to the petitioner, that too, in his absence.On account of illegal demolition undertaken by the respondents, the petitioner has been deprived of his right of property to use the same in derogation of Article 300-A of the Constitution.It was further argued that by resorting to illegal demolition have since breached Article 19 (1)(g) of the Constitution & the same is completely arbitrary, hence they are liable to be saddled with compensation and damages to be paid to the petitioner to the tune of Rs.50 lakh.The issue for consideration before the bench was: Whether in exercise of writ jurisdiction under Article 226 damages/compensation for alleged demolition of certain constructions belonging to the petitioner done by the State or any State instrumentality can be awarded?High Court stated that no doubt, the allegations in the petition is against the railways authorities, however, the petitioner has pleaded violation of Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India by stating that he had tenanted the building in question and he was earning rent.However, what Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India guarantees right to practice any profession or carry out any occupation or trade or any business. There is no doubt that by renting the property its owner may gain its livelihood, however, the same in itself cannot, amount to any profession or occupation or trade or business.The bench opined that at the most if the facts pleaded by the petitioner are proved, the petitioner may have some cause of action for breach of property rights alone.Thus, for breach of property rights, damages or compensation, if any, can be awarded by a court of competent civil jurisdiction on a suit to be instituted for the said purpose and not in proceedings under Article 226 of the Constitution of India which primarily operates in the public-law realm.High Court noted that the building in question in respect of which demolition by the petitioner has been alleged in the petition, as per the own showing of the petitioner, was rented to Bharat Sevak Samaj, Weight and Measurement Office, U.P. Agro Ltd., Consolidation Office, Food Corporation of India and some Liquor Shops.Thus, it was not being used for residential purposes. Further, the matter at hand involves determination of disputed questions of facts which does not appear to be possible without the parties leading the evidence.In view of the above, the bench dismissed the petition.
Dr. Ajay Kummar Pandey( LLM, MBA, (UK), PhD, AIMA, AFAI, PHD Chamber, ICTC, PCI, FCC, DFC, PPL, MNP, BNI, ICJ (UK), WP, (UK), MLE, Harvard Square, London, CT, Blair Singer Institute, (USA), Dip. in International Crime, Leiden University, the Netherlands )Advocate & Consultant, Supreme Court of India & High Courts4C Supreme Law International, Delhi, NCR. Mumbai & DubaiTel: M- 91- 9818320572. Email: email@example.com