R.K. Varma, J.
1. By this petition u/A. 226 of the Constitution, the petitioner has sought the quashing of the Order dated 31-5-83 (Annexure 'D' to the petition) whereby the Collector, Indore, who is the Requisioning Authority under the M. P. Accommodation (Requisition) Act, 1948 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act'), has requisitioned the Accommodation owned by the petitioner.
2. The petitioner owns the house consisting of six rooms on the ground floor and six rooms on the first floor. It is the case of the petitioner that one Shri Katariya was occupying the ground floor of the house as a tenant of the petitioner and that the petitioner was occupying the first floor of the house. As the portion occupied by the petitioner and his family was insufficient for their residential need, the petitioner persuaded the tenant to vacate the accommodation occupied by him on the ground floor and the tenant vacated the said accommodation on 1-12-1982 and the same was occupied by the petitioner.
3. The respondent No. 2 Collector (Requisitioning Authority), Indore purporting to act under Section 3 of the Act, as amended by the amendment Act No. 25 of 1975, sent a notice dated 12-12-1982 to the petitioner calling upon him to appear and show cause as to why the six rooms on the ground floor of his house should not be requisitioned for allotment to Government Servants under Section 39(2) of the M. P. Accommodation Control Act. 1961. The powers conferred upon the State Government under Sections 3, 6 and 7 of the Act are exercisable by the Collectors within their respective jurisdictions as per notification dated 3rd July, 1959 (Annexure R3), delegating powers under Section 14 of the Act-
4. A reply to the show cause notice was filed by the petitioner explaining the positionthat his family which is comprised of 8 members, has been in occupation of the house including the accommodation sought to be requisitioned and disputing the claim that the accommodation has been kept vacant and an affidavit in support of the reply was also filed. The Collector, respondent No. 2, thereafter, by the impugned order dated 31-5-1983 (Annex. 'D'), ordered for requisitioning the proposed accommodation of six rooms under Section 3(2) of the Act and directed the petitioner to deliver possession of the said six rooms to the Authorised Officer (Rent Control), indore.
5. In the order passed by the Collector (Requisitioning Authority), Indore (Annex. 'D'), it has been stated that as per the order sheet dated 14-3-1983, the non-applicant (present petitioner) did not want to adduce any evidence in the case and therefore, for want of proof it was not possible to proceed further on the basis of written reply of the non-applicant dated 14-3-1983 to ascertain as to whether the aforesaid rooms were got vacated from Shri Katariya by the non-applicant for the need of the petitioner's family.
6. Learned counsel for the petitioner has contended that the Order (Annex. 'D') passed by the Collector (Requisitioning Authority) is arbitrary and against the principle of natural justice inasmuch as the Authority has ignored the reply of the petitioner, which was supported by an affidavit, and has observed that it was not possible to act on the basis of written reply in the absence of proof.
7. Learned counsel contends that there is no prescribed procedure tor proof by adducing evidence under Section 3 of the Act and that the affidavit of the petitioner which was filed in support of the reply, should have been considered as proof of the statement contained in the reply. In case the requisitioning Authority doubted the averments made in the reply supported by an affidavit, he could have cross-examined the petitioner. In the absence of any prescribed mode of proof, there is no justification to hold the statements contained in the reply of the petitioner supported by an affidavit, as not proved for want of evidence. In the circumstances, the order passed by ignoring the petitioner's reply supported by affidavit, for no good reason, is arbitrary and illegal.
8. Sub-section (2) of S. 3 of the Act which is the relevant provision with reference to the impugned order (Annex. 'D'), needs to be considered on the question whether the impugned order faithfully complies with the said provision. The said Sub-section is reproduced hereunder : --
'(2) If after considering the cause, if any, shown by the owner and the occupier, of the accommodation, the State Government is satisfied that it is necessary or expedient so to do, it may, by order in writing requisition the accommodation and make such further orders as appear to it to be necessary or expedient in connection with the requisitioning'.
9. On considering the facts of the instant case, the above provision, in our opinion, has not been complied with and, therefore, this petition deserves to be allowed. It is no doubt true that the power to requisition any accommodation for a public purpose under Section 3 of the Act is very wide and no particular kind of inquiry as such, has been provided in this section. All the same under Sub-section (2) of Section 3 the State Government or its delegate the Collector (Requisitioning Authority) is required to consider the cause shown by the owner and the occupier of the accommodation, in reply to the show cause notice issued under Section 3(1) of the Act. Further the State Government or its delegate the Collector (Requisitioning Authority) is to be satisfied that it is necessary or expedient to requisition the accommodation after considering the cause shown by the owner and the occupier and it is only after reaching such satisfaction that the Requisitioning Authority has the power to requisition the accommodation by order in writing. In the present case, as is apparent from the order of the Collector, the cause shown by the owner occupier has not been considered for his failure to adduce evidence even though the petitioner's reply showing cause was supported by an affidavit. There is nothing to indicate in the order of the Collector that he was not satisfied with the affidavit of the petitioner filed in support of his reply or that there was any contra indicative material before him which was required to be rebutted. In fact the Collector has made no reference to the petitioner's affidavit which apparently remained unnoticed.
10. It cannot be said that the Collectorcould reach satisfaction without considering the cause shown. Apparently, it is for this reason that the Collector has also not recorded his satisfaction to the effect that it was expedient after considering the cause shown by the owner, to requisition the accommodation. In the circumstances the necessary satisfaction which is a pre-condition for exercising jurisdiction to order requisitioning of the accommodation is missing in the present case. The impugned order (Annex. 'D') is, therefore, without jurisdiction and is arbitrary and illegal and deserves to be quashed.
11. In the result, this petition is allowed. The order dated 31-5-1983 passed by the Collector (Requisitioning Authority), Indore is hereby quashed. The security amount deposited, if any, shall be refunded to the petitioner after verification. Counsel's fee Rs. 200/-.