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MP High Court prevents authorities from demolishing property built on government land after the authorities gave less than a day's notice

MP High Court prevents authorities from demolishing property built on government land after the authorities gave less than a day's notice

On December 29, a single judge's bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court dismissed a petition filed under Article 226 to demolish a structure said to be built on government property in Village Nimthur, Tehsil Bhanpura, District Mandsaur. The single-judge bench led by Justice Satyendra Kumar Singh came to the aid of a litigant whose property was ordered demolished after the authorities gave him less than a day's notice.

“The petition is disposed off with directions to the respondents that they will provide relevant papers with regard to demarcation of the land in question to the petitioners within 3 days and thereafter, petitioners will file their reply before the competent authority/ respondent no.2 within 10 days and thereafter, respondent no.2 will pass appropriate order in accordance with law after considering the reply submitted by the petitioners. In the meantime, respondents will not demolish the construction in dispute said to be made on the encroached land bearing survey no.442 ad-measuring 0.066 hectares situated at Village Nimthur, Tehsil Bhanpura, District Mandsaur.”

Learned counsel for the petitioners submits that the petitioners filed an Election Petition against a sitting MLA of the ruling party, as a result of which the aforementioned notice was served upon the petitioners on 28.12.2022 at approximately 06:45 p.m. and he was directed to file their reply in the morning of the following day, i.e. 29.12.2012, or the construction made by him on the aforesaid land will be demolished. The contents of the notice appear to show that it was issued for political reasons and that the petitioners were not given a reasonable opportunity to respond; thus, the notice must be quashed.

The State, on the other hand, argued that the property in question was built on government land, so the notice was issued and the Petitioner was given an opportunity to respond. As a result, it was argued that the Petitioner was not entitled to any relief.

After reviewing the parties' submissions and the documents on file, the Court determined that the State should refrain from taking any coercive action against the Petitioner until he had a reasonable opportunity to approach the appropriate authority-

“It is apparent from the record that the show cause notice dated 27.12.2022 was served upon to the petitioners on 28.12.2022 at about 6:45 p.m. and they were directed to file their reply on the very next day i.e. 29.12.2022 stating therein that otherwise the construction in question will be demolished. It is mentioned in the notice itself that petitioners are in possession of the land in dispute for last 10 years. In these circumstances, it appears appropriate to give some reasonable time to the petitioners to file the reply and till then the respondents is required to restrain from demolishing the construction in question.”

The court further directed that “respondents will not take any coercive action against the petitioners after passing of the said order for 7 days and provide reasonable time to the petitioners to approach the competent authority.”

Case Title: Late Shri R.M. Sojatia Foundation Trust Vs. The State Of Madhya Pradesh
Citation: WRIT PETITION No. 30330 of 2022
Read the complete order on the following Link: 

https://mphc.gov.in/upload/indore/MPHCIND/2022/WP/30330/WP_30330_2022_FinalOrder_29-Dec-2022_digi.pdf

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