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No demolition action to be taken against the unauthorized property unless owner or resident is given adequate opportunity of hearing : Delhi High Court

Delhi High Court observed that No demolition action to be taken against the unauthorized property unless owner or resident is given adequate opportunity of hearing. This was observed in the case of MS HNUNPUII v. MUNICIPAL CORPORATION OF DELHI & ANR.( CM(M) 862/2022, CM APPL. 37035/2022 and CM APPL.37036/2022) and the case was presided over by single judge bench of HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE C.HARI SHANKAR

Facts of the case:

The plaintiff namely Hnunpuii filed a civil suit against Ambawat that he was raising an illegal and unauthorized construction on the seventh and eighth floors of the suit property, and he wanted the same be demolished. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) through  the written response submitted that the entire property was unauthorized and booked for demolition.

A suit against the plaintiff seeking a direction to MCD to demolish the allegedly illegal construction carried out by Hnunpuii in her flat was filed by Ambawat seeking for a permanent injunction not to carry out any such illegal construction in future. The learned senior judge however rejected the application which was then challenged in the High Court.

Judgement:

It was observed by High Court that  what is required for a trial in a later suit to be stayed, during the pendency of an earlier suit, is unity and identity of the subject matter in issue in the two suits, to the extent that a final decision in the former suit would operate as res judicata in the latter.

HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE C.HARI SHANKAR observed that “To my mind, there can be no question of demolishing any property on the ground that it is unauthorized, until and unless the person owning the property and/or in possession of/residing in the property, are given an adequate opportunity of hearing and due principles of natural justice are complied with.”

Further more it was held that It is also no answer to compliance with the principles of natural justice to contend that, if an opportunity was granted, the persons affecting would not have had any defense to offer.

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Judgement review by Utkarsh Sahu.

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