Without show cause notice authority cannot direct to vacant shops: SC

By Rohit Sharma


The Supreme Court directed Madhya Pradesh government not to disturb Bharmal Medical Store and Apna Medicaze till it holds an open bid for shops inside the Civil Hospital Badnagar Etc premises and until the highest bidder is selected. For till that such fresh bids are held, three-bench judges of SC said on August 27.

The three-bench judges, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Navin Sinha and Justice K.M. Joseph was hearing to duo plea against the same respondent. The judges noticed that the appeal has the same object but some minor variation in facts.

The judges read, Both the appellants are lessees of the State Government for the shop premises situated within the compound of the District Hospital, Ujjain, Civil Hospital, Nagda, Khachrod, Mahidpur, Badnagar etc. They have been asked in 2013 to vacate the shop premises and shift from the Civil Hospital compound.

“It is not in dispute that the shop premises was constructed by the authorities and does not fall under the category of an unauthorized construction. It was settled with the appellants by open bid in 2000/2001. The lease period has long since expired and the lease has not been renewed”, judges said.

Learned counsel for the appellants submits that “The notice to vacate the shops in the hospital premises is arbitrary. No show cause notice with an opportunity to convince the authorities not to order removal was provided. Closure of the shop will infringe the fundamental rights of the appellants under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution.”

The judges said,….. If peaceful coexistence is possible, there is no reason why the shop premises should be shut down and the appellants are asked to vacate.

Learned counsel for the State submitted that “The medicine shops were permitted at a time when patients had to procure medicines on their own. The lease has long expired and no steps have been taken for renewal by the appellants.”

The leases of shops have long expired and no steps have been taken by the appellants for renewal of their leases. The rent was Rs 300 – ­400­. At the time of initial settlement also, it was done with the appellants on the basis of an open bid. Considering the long passage of time since the lease has expired, and the appellants cannot claim an indefeasible right to continue irrespective of such considerations, we deem it proper to observe that it shall be open for the respondents to hold an open bid for the shops in question inside the hospital premises, Judges stated.

The three-bench judges after hearing both the sides they said, “The appellants shall not be disturbed but shall continue to pay the enhanced rate of rent in the manner provided for in the agreement with effect from the date of the present order. If there are any arrears of rent, it shall also be deposited at the agreed rate within a period of four weeks. The impugned orders of the High Court are set aside. The appeals are allowed.”

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