HC rejects central govt agency's eviction order to shop-owner

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Delhi High Court
New Delhi, May 22: The Delhi High Court has quashed an eviction order issued by a central government agency to a man, whose shop was closed for more than a decade, on grounds of alleged non-payment of the licence fee.

The Directorate of Estates was also directed to pay 25,000 to Surender Kumar Chawla, who could not run his business for over a decade after the MCD denied him a licence, for causing harassment to him.

Setting aside the estate officer's order on November 2001 for eviction, Justice Kailash Gambhir said "this is a classic example of apathy and nepotic behaviour of the government towards its citizens."

"The estate officer instead of acting in a judicious manner passed the eviction order without taking pains to know the exact reason behind non-payment of license fee by the petitioner," the court said.

"Instead of coming to the rescue of Chawla to resolve his problem which was sole creation of the government, it started eviction proceedings and simultaneously raised a demand of Rs 6,08,688 and Rs 1,56,078 towards the arrears of the license fee by him," Gambhir said and ordered the directorate to waive off the arrears and damages.

Chawla was alloted a premise in Vasant Vihar shopping complex in 1998, but he could not run his meat shop after MCD did not issue him a licence on the ground that the shop's size was less than the mandatory requirement of 85 square feet as per the norms.

According to him, although the shop was alloted to him but no basic facilities like electricity and water provided in the entire shopping complex. He claimed to have had run from pillar to post to fulfill the norms but to no avail.

On the other hand, Chawla was served with a notice to evict the premises three years after its possession and also a bill demanding huge amount as arrear was served on him.

"Instead of lending a helping hand, huge demand towards licence fee and damages was raised by the respondents (directorate of estates and MCD) so as to bring more misery and agony in the life of the petitioner," the court noted and directed the civic agency to issue licence in one week.

PTI 

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