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Potable water or electricity are integral part of Right to Life within the meaning of Article 21 of the Constitution of India : Tripura High Court

The Tripura High Court in the case of Mr. P. Roy Barman vs Mr. A.Bhowmik (WP(C)No.482 of 2022) upheld that potable water or electricity are an integral part of Right to Life within the meaning of Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

Facts of the case : The writ petitioners were the stall owners of the municipal market. Their case was that after the demolition of the old market, Agartala Municipal Corporation had constructed new stalls which had been allotted to the old stall owners and others. They were given assurance by Agartala Municipal Corporation (AMC) that they would be given permanent rent free allotment of those stalls. But subsequently Toujis have been created in their names at a monthly rent of Rs.2.00/- per sq ft. for each of the stalls. The provisional Toujis have been issued to the petitioners w.e.f 01.04.2013 and in all the Toujis ‘premium due’ had been indicated. On 30.04.2022, the Municipal Commissioner visited the market and thereafter notices were issued to the stall owners. Those notices were issued asking the petitioners to pay their outstanding premium of rent w.e.f 01.04.2013 with penal interest within a period of 03 days from the date of receipt of such notices. Before such notices were issued to the petitioners, water and electricity lines to the said municipal market were disconnected. As a result, now there was no conservancy service in the market. 

Counsel contended that no default notice was issued to the petitioners before disconnection of electricity and the petitioners have no dues towards electricity charges. Counsel therefore urged the court to provide interim relief to the writ petitioners by asking respondents to restore the electricity connection to the market immediately. 

Judgment : The court held that potable water or electricity are integral part of Right to Life within the meaning of Article 21 of the Constitution of India. These are basic necessities for human beings and can well be termed as essentials of human rights. The court was of the view that electricity connection to the said market which was accessed by the public should be restored immediately. 

JUDGMENT REVIEWED BY : SHUBHANGI CHAUDHARY

Click here to view the judgment

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