Hari Krishna Mandir Trust Versus State of Maharashtra & Ors.
Court / Forum : Supreme Court of India
Case Number : Civil Appeal No. 6156 of 2013
Coram : Justice Indu Malhotra and Justice Indira Banerjee
Subject : Article 300A of the Constitution of India
Date of Decision : August 7, 2020
- PThe Hari Krishna Mandir Trust (“Appellant”) filed an appeal against the order of Bombay High Court for seeking correction of wrong entry as an internal road in the name of Pune Municipal Corporation.
- The Urban Development Department, Government of Maharashtra rejected the proposal by the Appellant stating that the Pune Municipal Corporation is the owner in respect of the land.
- The Bombay High Court dismissed the petition and found that the land in question was vested, without any encumbrances, in the Pune Municipal Corporation at the time of commencement of the Town Planning Scheme, by invoking Section 88 of the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, 1966.
- Whether the land in question vests with the Pune Municipal Corporation in terms of Section 88 of the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, 1996?
- Whether the Bombay High Court erred while applying the deeming provision of Section 88 (a) of the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, 1996 without applying the pre-condition of compensation in respect of the land in question?
- TWhile deciding the first issue, the Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that in the absence of any proceedings for acquisition or for purchase, no land belonging to the Appellant could have vested in the State and held as under: -
““The right to property may not be a fundamental right any longer, but it is still a constitutional right under Article 300A and a human right as observed by this Court in Vimlaben Ajitbhai Patel v. Vatslaben Ashokbhai Patel and Others ((2008) 4 SCC 649). In view of the mandate of Article 300A of the Constitution of India, no person is to be deprived of his property save by the authority of law. The appellant trust cannot be deprived of its property save in accordance with law.”
- It was further held that Article 300A of the Constitution of India embodies the doctrine of eminent domain which comprises of two parts namely, (i) possession of property in the public interest; and (ii) payment of reasonable compensation.
- Thus, the State possesses the power to take or control the property of the owner for the benefit of public and the Executive cannot deprive a person of his property without specific legal authority, which can be established in a court of law.
- While deciding the second issue, the Hon’ble Supreme Court also held that though the right to claim compensation or the or the obligation of the State to pay compensation to a person who is deprived of his property is not expressly provided in Article 300A of the Constitution of India, however, it is inbuilt in the said Article.
- Thus, the State seeking to acquire private property for public purpose cannot say that no compensation shall be paid.
- While allowing the appeal, the Hon’ble Supreme Court concluded that in such cases, the High Court must issue a Writ of Mandamus and give directions to compel performance in an appropriate and lawful manner of the discretion conferred upon the Government or a public authority.