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HomeNewsMadhya Pradesh HC slams 'fashion' of demolishing houses

Madhya Pradesh HC slams ‘fashion’ of demolishing houses

INDORE: It has become “fashionable” for

authorities

to tear down any house without adhering to “principles of natural justice”, Indore bench of Madhya Pradesh HC has observed, ordering a compensation of Rs 1 lakh each to two petitioners whose homes were bulldozed by Ujjain Municipal Corporation.
Justice Vivek Rusia noted the illegality of the act, carried out in Sandipini Nagar on Dec 13, 2023, without serving prior notice to petitioners Radha Langri and Vimal Gurjar or giving them opportunity for a hearing.

They approached HC following the demolition. Rusia also ordered disciplinary action against erring officers.
Justice Vivek Rusia criticised a trend of local authorities resorting to demolitions “by drawing up proceedings without complying with principle of natural justice”. Rusia further said: “It appears that in this case also, criminal case was registered against family members of petitioners and demolition was carried out.”
Upon HC’s directives, Ujjain Muncipal Corporation commissioner examined the cases and reported that petitioners’ houses lacked required building permissions. However, “spot panchnama” drafted by civic officers indicated that notices were served to previous owners, not current ones.

Rusia criticised “drastic action of demolition” based on a “concocted” panchnama prepared without on-site verification.
“The commissioner has conveniently avoided giving an explanation about details of deposition of property tax on the ground that server is down…corporation has physical records of property tax payment, which could have verified who is depositing the tax for this house,” HC pointed out.
Noting that petitioners had purchased houses, not open land, Rusia emphasised that regularisation should have been explored instead of demolition. “Demolition should be the recourse, that too after giving the owner a proper opportunity to get the house regularised,” he said. The petitioners were instructed to legalise their constructions by applying for building permission.

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