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1974 (10) TMI 111

..... R. B. Datar, for the respondents M. C. Bhandare and R. B. Datar, for respondent ORDER The Judgment of the Court was delivered by ALAGIRISWAMI, J.-These five appeals arise out of five writ petitions filed before the High Court of Mysore questioning three notifications issued under the Mysore Slum Areas (Improvement & Clearance) Act, 1958. The notifications were (1) a Declaration under section 3 of the Act, dated 17-11- 1960, (2) a declaration under section 9 of the Act, dated 20-4-1961, and (3) a notification by the Government dated 20-12-1962 under section 12 by which certain lands were to be acquired under the Act. The provisions of section 3, 9, 12 and 15 were also impugned as unconstitutional. The High Court struck down sections 3 and 9 as violating Article 19(1)(f) of the Constitution and section 12(1) (b) as violating Article 14. It did not consider it necessary to consider the constitutional validity of section 15. It, however, held that the three notifications above referred to were not unconstitutional because in exercising their functions under sections 3, 9 and 12 the authorities concerned were not exercising a quasi judicial power. But the result of striking down the .....

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..... with authority to adjudicate upon matters involving civil consequences. It is one of the fundamental rules of our constitutional set-up that every citizen is protected against exercise of arbitray authority by the State or its officers. Duty to act judicially would therefore arise from the very nature of the function intended to be performed, it need not be super. added. If there is power to decide and determine to the prejudice of a person, duty to act judicially is implicit in the exercise of such power. If the essentials of justice be ignored and an order to the prejudice of a person is made, the order is a nullity. That is a basic concept of the rule of law and importance thereof transcends the significance of a decision in any particular case." In Krajak's case it was held: "The rules of natural justice operate in areas not covered by any law validly made, that is, they do not supplant the law of the lard but supplement it. They are not embodied rules and their aim is to secure justice or to prevent miscarriage of justice. If that is their purpose there is-no reason why they should not be made applicable to administrative proceedings also, especially when it is .....

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..... of a right in property in Daud Ahmed v. District Magistrate Allahabad & Ors. (AIR 1972 SC 896 & 899) where this Court held: "It is the nature of the power and the circumstances and conditions under which it is exercised that will occasion the invocation of the principle of natural justice. Deprivation of property affects rights of a person. If under the Requisition Act the petitioner was to be deprived of the occupation of the premises the District Magistrate had to hold an enquiry in order to arrive at an opinion that there existed alternative accommodation for the petitioner or the District Magistrate was to provide alternative accommodation." The Mysore High Court, in the judgment under appeal, seems to have boon of opinion that the principle laid down in Cooper v. The Board of Works for the Wandsworth District (supra) was departed from in King v. The Electricity Commissioners (supra) and by the Privy Council in Nakkuda Ali v. M. F. De S. Jayaratne (supra). The Electricity Commissioners' case was followed by this Court in Province of Bombay v. Khushadas .'V. Advani (supra). The High Court's view seems to have been that this line of reasoning preven .....

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..... control administrative action by assimilating it to judicial action over which Courts could exercise supervision. In later cases, emphasis was more on the needs of justice and fairness rather than upon the distinction between the judicial and administrative action. Administrative action had, however, to be given free scope within its legitimate sphere without jeopardizing rights of individuals affected. Policies and schemes framed under statutory provisions, which affected rights of individuals could impose the obligations upon the authorities taking what were essentially administrative decisions at points at which they begin to impinge on specific individual rights. It is only where there is nothing in the statute to actually prohibit the giving of an opportunity to be heard, but, on the other hand, the nature of the statutory duty imposed itself necessarily implied an obligation to hear before deciding that the "audi alteram partem" rule could be imported. The nature of the hearing would, of course, vary according to the nature of the function and what its just and fair exercise required in the context of rights affected. We must, therefore, examine the nature of funct .....

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..... unfit as aforesaid if and only if it is so far defective in one or more of the said matters that it is not reasonably suitable for occupation in that conditions."' Once an area is declared as a slum area, the owner of every building in that area has to apply to the competent authority as required by section 3-A(1) of the Act for the registration of the building owned by him in that area and also furnished to the said authority such particulars as may be required by it. Section 3-B lays down: "Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force; no person shall- (ii)in respect of any area declared as a slum area under section 3 after the commencement of the said Act, subsequent to the date of declaration of such area as a slum area, erect any new building in such slum area, or make any addi- tion to or any alteration in any building already existing on the said date in such slum area, except with the previous permission in writing of the competent authority and subject to such restrictions or conditions as may be imposed by the said authority." Section 9 gives power to declare any slum area to be a clearance ;area. It leads : .lm15 &qu .....

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..... n for the land acquired under section 12. It reads : "(1) The amount payable as compensation in respect of any land acquired under this Act, shall be determined in the manner specified in sub-section (2). (2)(a) In respect of any land within adjoining or surrounded by any slum area or clearance area- (i) the amount payable as compensation shall be the amount equal to sixty times the net average monthly income actually derived from, such land during the period of five consecu- tive years immediately preceding the date of' publication of the notice referred to in section12; and (ii) the net average monthly income referred to, above shall be calculated in accordance with the principles and in the manner set out in the Second Schedule. (b) In respect of any other land, the amount payable: as compensation shall be,an amount equal to the market value of such land on the date of publication of the notice under section 12 : Provided that the amount payable under clause (a) or clause (b) shall not be in excess of the market value of the: land or similar land on the first day of July 1959. (3)The prescribed authority shall, after holding an inquiry, in the prescribed manner, determi .....

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..... owners of every building therein have to apply for registration of their buildings. No owner of a property in the area can erect any now building or make any addition to, or alteration in any existing building without previous permission which may be subject to such restrictions or conditions as may be imposed by the competent authority. The authority concerned may also call upon the owners to carry out works of improvement and if such a direction is not complied with the authority may itself execute the works of improvement and recover the' cost from him. Under section 10 the owners of the buildings may be asked to vacate and demolish them and on failure to do so the buildings may be demolished and the cost of de- molition recovered from the owners. A notification under section 9 enables an area to be declared a ,clearance area on the ground that the most satisfactory method of dealing with the conditions in the area is the demolition of all the buildings in the area. But even in a slum area there may be buildings which may not have to be pulled down and they may be in quite good condition. The proviso to sub-section (1) provides for such a contingency but if there is no provi .....

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