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Bhushan Chandra Dutta and ors. Vs. the Chairman of the Kotechandpur Municipality - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtKolkata
Decided On
Judge
Reported in46Ind.Cas.298
AppellantBhushan Chandra Dutta and ors.
RespondentThe Chairman of the Kotechandpur Municipality
Excerpt:
bengal municipal act (iii of 1884), sections 6(4), 204 and 218 - 'house,' meaning of--patit land adjoining house--obstruction placed 'in front of the house', meaning of. - .....passage along any road.' now the road in question runs from north to south. on the west of the road the petitioners have a house and to the north of the house there is a piece of land adjoining it, which is variously described as patit land or as an orchard. there is evidence that the land on which the house stands was acquired at some date prior to the date on which the adjoining piece of land was acquired. the two are separated by a wall and a privy--the privy standing partly on the old land and partly upon the new land. there is, however, no door in the wall or in the privy communicating with the new land. the obstruction complained of is a heap of khapra, or broken pottery, which is said to extend from the new land on to the road. it has been found that the khapra or part of it.....
Judgment:

1. The petitioners were convicted under Section 218 of the Bengal Municipal Act of the offence of failing to comply with a notice issued to them under Section 204 of the Act. Section 204, in so far as it is relevant, runs as follows: The Commissioners may give notice in writing to the owner or occupier of any house requiring him to remove or alter any projection, encroachment or obstruction erected or placed against or in front of such house...if the same overhangs the road, or juts into, or in any way projects or encroaches upon or is an obstruction to the safe and convenient passage along any road.' Now the road in question runs from north to south. On the west of the road the petitioners have a house and to the north of the house there is a piece of land adjoining it, which is variously described as patit land or as an orchard. There is evidence that the land on which the house stands was acquired at some date prior to the date on which the adjoining piece of land was acquired. The two are separated by a wall and a privy--the privy standing partly on the old land and partly upon the new land. There is, however, no door in the wall or in the privy communicating with the new land. The obstruction complained of is a heap of khapra, or broken pottery, which is said to extend from the new land on to the road. It has been found that the khapra or part of it is stacked on the road. Assuming, as we think we may do, that this heap or stick of khapra is an obstruction within the meaning of Section 204, the principal question that has been argued before us is whether this obstruction is in front of the petitioner's house. Now, in Section 6 Clause (4) of the Act, the word 'house' is only interpreted to the extent that 'it includes any hut, shop, warehouse or building' and we make no attempt to give a more precise definition. The word is in some respects an ambiguous one, which may have different meanings according to the context in which it is used. We certainly do not say that for the purposes of Section 204 the term is confined merely to the four walls and the roof within which a man dwells or carries on business. There would seem to be no reason why the term should not include the land or premises which are enjoyed or held with the building. It may be a question in each case whether any particular land is part and parcel of a house or not. In the present case there is no definite finding that the patit land or orchard was held and enjoyed along with the house as part of the premises. The fact that the two pieces of land were acquired at different times is an element which we think may be taken into consideration. It is not clear, for instance, that a conveyance of the petitioner's house would pass the whole land, new as well as old. In our opinion, on the materials before us, it cannot be said that this stack of khapra is in front of the petitioner's house. In that view, we make the Rule absolute. The conviction of the petitioners and the sentence passed upon them are, therefore, set aside. The fine, if paid, will be refunded.


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