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B.C. Das Vs. R.C. and E.O. and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty;Civil
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Misc. Writ No. 880 of 1961
Judge
Reported inAIR1962All8
ActsConstitution of India - Article 226; Uttar Pradesh Accommodation Requisition Act
AppellantB.C. Das
RespondentR.C. and E.O. and ors.
Advocates:Ganesh Prasad, Adv.
Excerpt:
.....must fail. 8. before i leave this case, i would like topoint out that there is no allegation in the petitioner's affidavit nor was it suggested at the barthat the hon'ble judge whose name is mentionedin the district magistrate's letter to the petitionerhad moved the district magistrate to requisition-the petitioner's house......directed against a letter written to him by the rent control and eviction officer on behalf of the district magistrate, allahabad suggesting that he should make his bungalow in tagore town available for an hon'ble judge of this court within a week of the receipt of this letter. in his affidavit the petitioner says that he is a retired professor of the allahabad university aged about 62 years and the owner-occupier of a house no. 41 tagore town, which was constructed by him in 1940. he built this house so that he and his wife in their old age could live in their own house. he alleges that he is a patient of heart trouble and his wife is suffering from a nervous breakdown and other ailments. he also says that he and his wife have been living in this house as soon as it was constructed and.....
Judgment:
ORDER

S.S. Dhawan, J.

1. This is a petition under Article 220 of the constitution filed by Sri Bijoy Chandra Das directed against a letter written to him by the Rent Control and Eviction Officer on behalf of the District Magistrate, Allahabad suggesting that he should make his bungalow in Tagore Town available for an Hon'ble Judge of this Court within a week of the receipt of this letter. In his affidavit the petitioner says that he is a retired professor of the Allahabad University aged about 62 years and the owner-Occupier of a house No. 41 Tagore Town, which was constructed by him in 1940. He built this house so that he and his wife in their old age could live in their own house. He alleges that he is a patient of heart trouble and his wife is suffering from a nervous breakdown and other ailments.

He also says that he and his wife have been living in this house as soon as it was constructed and it has not remained unoccupied for a single day; he has never let out the house in past nor has he any intention of doing so in, future. The house is barely sufficient for his needs. The petitioner says that he has spent his entire savings in building this house and he and his wife have become attached to it. But to his utter surprise he received a letter from the District Magistrate alleging that his house had 'remained practically unoccupied since a long time'. The letter pointed out that 'there was an acute dearth of accommodation in Allahabad and it was proposed to requisition the said bungalow for the residence of an Hon'ble judge of this Court.

The letter assured the petitioner that he would be paid a 'reasonable monthly compensation'' for the house. He was advised to appreciate the difficulties of the authorities 'in providing accommodation to Government servants of higher status', and voluntarily to make it available for the use of the Hon'ble Judge within a week of this letter. The letter concluded with the warning that if the petitioner failed to make it available within week 'it would be requisitioned under the U. P. Accommodation Requisition Act, 1947 ass amended up to date'.

2. Aggrieved by this letter the petitioner has come to this Court for relief under Article 226 ofthe Constitution. However, he took the previous precaution of sending a reply to the letter in which he denied that the house had ever remained unoccupied.

3. I shall assume that all the allegations in the petitioner's letter are true that the house was constructed by him for his personal use, that he is living in it with his wife and that it is not vacant. Even if all this be true, it is difficult to see how any right of the petitioner has been infringed by this letter. It requests him to make the house available for the use of another person. Under the law it is open to the District Magistrate to make an informal suggestion of this sort to any owner. The letter certainly is not a direction under Section 7 of the U. P. Control of Rent and Eviction Act directing the petitioner to let the house to the nominee of the District Magistrate. If it had been it would have been framed in the usual official form invoking the powers of the District Magistrate under that section. It is no more than a proposal which the petitioner is free to accept or reject. There is nothing illegal in the district authorities negotiating with the owner of a house for its lease.

4. But the sting of the letter is in its tail. It said that if the petitioner did not make the house available within a week the bungalow would be requisitioned under the U. P. Accommodation Requisition Act, 1947. I have to see whether this threat as the petitioners called it, have infringed any right of the petitioner, Mr. Ganesh Prasad contended that this sentence converts an information suggestion into a formal requisition under Section 3 of the U. P. Requisition of Accommodation Act (No. XXV of 1947). I do not think so. That section empowers the District Magistrate to requisition any accommodation for any public purpose, but he has to make a direction in writing formally requisitioning the accommodation and directing the delivery of possession to him within specified period. In this letter there is no such requisition. It merely contains an intention to requisition the house in future. In my opinion, this letter confers no powers on the District Magistrate under that Act.

5. The petitioner may be right in apprehending that the district authorities intend to requisition this house after the expiry of a week. But the law gives them this power. There is nothing illegal in the District Magistrate's declaration of intention to requisition a house under the Accommodation Requisition Act. His requisitioning powers under that Act are wider than his power to control letting under the Control of Rent and Eviction Act for he can requisition any accommodation even if it is occupied, whereas he cannot 'allot' any accommodation unless it is vacant or about to fall vacant. A bare declaration of an intention to requisition a house occupied by the petitioner is not illegal.

6. Whether the petitioner's house should be requisitioned is another matter. The petitioner has written to the District Magistrate explaining that his house is not vacant and has appealed to appreciate his natural desire to live peacefully in his house in his old age and requested him 'torelease his bungalow from the pressure of requisition'. If the facts alleged in the petitioner's letter to the District Magistrate are true, I have no doubt that they shall be considered.

It is possible that the District Magistrate was misinformed that the house was vacant. But this Court cannot quash a mere declaration of intention to requisition a house. It cannot presume in advance that the requisition shall be illegal. Its jurisdiction under Article 226 can be invoked only after the infringement of a right or an illegal threat to it. I cannot presume that the requisition, if and when made, shall be illegal.

7. The petitioner has submitted that the requisition can only be made for a public purpose and that the intention to requisition his house for the use of a High Court Judge is patently illegal for it discloses no public purpose. But it is the settled view of this Court that a requisition for the purpose of providing residential accommodation for Government servants on duty is a public purpose. There is thus no manifest illegality in the letter of the District Magistrate. The petition is misconceived and must fail. The petitioner's remedy is to press his case before the executive authorities.

8. Before I leave this case, I would like topoint out that there is no allegation in the petitioner's affidavit nor was it suggested at the barthat the Hon'ble Judge whose name is mentionedin the District Magistrate's letter to the petitionerhad moved the District Magistrate to requisition-the petitioner's house. Speaking for myself, nothing will persuade me to live in a house whichhas been placed at my disposal by depriving anaged couple of the use of their only available accommodation, and I can say with confidence that this sentiment will be shared by all my brotherjudges. The petition is rejected.


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