High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh
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Narati Devi & Ors v. Nagar Council, Muktsar - CWP-4779-2003  RD-P&H 12068 (6 December 2006)
CWP NO.4779 of 2003
DATE OF DECISION: November 27, 2006
Narati Devi and others
Nagar Council, Muktsar
CORAM:- HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE VINEY MITTAL
HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE H.S. BHALLA
PRESENT: Shri S.C.Pathela, Advocate for the petitioners.
Shri Arun Walia,Advocate for the respondent.
The petitioners have approached this Court for issuance of directions to respondent Nagar Council, Muktsar to implement the scheme, whereby the shop-cum-flats/booths were auctioned or in the alternative to quash the said scheme.
It emerges from the record that on December 20,1996 auction was conducted for sale of various shops-cum-flats/booths in a scheme which was known as Old Grain Market (Purani Dana Mandi), Muktsar. The petitioners claim that they were successful bidder in the said auction and had deposited 25% of the bid amount.
The grievance made by the petitioners is that despite repeated requests made by them in this regard, neither any development work had been conducted by the Nagar Council to construct proper roads, sewerage, water supply, electricity, nor old CWP No.4779 of 2003
buildings, like, office of old market committee etc. have been demolished. It is in these circumstances that the petitioners have approached this Court through the present petition.
Notice of motion was issued in the present petition on March 28, 2003 only on an undertaking given by the petitioners that the entire balance amount of consideration would be deposited by them with the respondent Council within a period of two weeks from that date. It is claimed by the petitioners that the aforesaid amounts have been so deposited.
This petition had originally come up for final disposal before this Court on March 7, 2005. On the basis of an affidavit dated March 5, 2005 filed on behalf of the Executive Officer, Municipal Council, Muktsar, the writ petition was disposed of on an undertaking that the necessary infrastructure would be provided to the petitioners within a period of nine months from that date. It was also noticed by the Court that the balance amount, which was claimed to be due and payable by the petitioners, would also be determined and thereafter shall be paid, in accordance with law. However, a liberty was granted to the petitioners to get the petition revived in case the compliance was not made by the Municipal Council. A civil miscellaneous application being CM No.12532 of 2006 was subsequently filed by the petitioners for revival of the writ petition. It was maintained by the petitioners that since the undertaking given by the respondent had not been complied with, therefore, the writ petition was required to be revived. Although, the said application was contested by the respondent by filing a detailed reply on August 31,2006 but vide order dated November 3, 2006 the main writ petition was revived and Pag
CWP No.4779 of 2003
was directed to be listed for motion hearing. It is in these circumstances that the main petition has been listed before this Court for disposal.
We have heard Shri S.C.Pathela, the learned counsel appearing for the petitioners and Shri Arun Walia, the learned counsel appearing for the respondent and with their assistance have also gone through the record of the case.
From the perusal of the record, we find that although originally a resolution No.46 dated August 25, 2005 was passed by the Municipal Council, whereby it was decided to waive off the entire interest chargeable from the petitioners, but the Director, Local f Government, Punjab did not approve the said resolution and as such the same was rejected. Later on, another resolution No.33 dated July 28, 2006 was passed by the Municipal Council, whereby it was decided to impose an interest at the rate of 6.25% per annum on the principal amount. The said resolution has been duly approved by the State Government vide an approval dated August 18, 2006. In these circumstances, it is clear that the petitioners are liable to pay interest at the rate of 6.25% per annum on the principal amount. The Municipal Council is within its rights to claim the aforesaid interest from the petitioners.
We further find from the perusal of affidavit dated August 28, 2006, that in terms of the directions dated March 7, 2005 issued by this Court, some amenities have already been provided.
The relevant portion of the affidavit dated March 7, 2005 reads as under:
CWP No.4779 of 2003
"(a) Water Supply: The job of water supply in the old grain market has been completed and now it is properly functioning.
(b) Sewerage: Entire sewerage work at old grain market is complete and is functioning properly.
(c ) Street Light: There are total 28 points of street light out of which 17 are fully functioning and glowing in the night. The remaining work on the light points would be completed within one month positively. The latest photographs taken on 26.10.2006 showing the factum of street lights in working condition are annexed herewith as Annexure RA-7.
(d) Road Carpeting: As earlier stated by the deponent in his reply dated 31.8.2006, the complete carpeting of the road of the old grain market which is approximately 700-800 meters in length 12-15 meters in breadth would be completed within 9 months. Since the financial condition of the Nagar Council, Muktsar is not sound and the
petitioners/applicants are yet to pay the interest part to the Nagar Council, Muktsar, therefore, the period of 9 months sought from this Hon'ble Court for completing the same on priority basis deserves to be granted by this Hon'ble Court to the Nagar Council, Muktsar.
CWP No.4779 of 2003
(e) Demolition of office of old market Committee: In this regard an amount of Rs.10,76,625/- has already been deposited by the Nagar Council, Muktsar with Market Committee, Muktsar. Since a cowshed exists in the said building and for this reason the demolition work cannot be completed.
(f) Regarding cow shed: The office of Nagar Council, Muktsar has tried its level best to shift the existing cowshed, which is still functioning in the old office of Market Committee, Muktsar at new place which has been constructed by the Nagar Council, Muktsar at Malout Road but no constructive work has been done so far for the reason that neither the petitioners/applicants nor the inhabitants of that locality are cooperating with the Nagar Council, Muktsar for shifting this cowshed. The deponent personally met with Shri Jasraj who happens to be the Manager of the aforesaid gowshala (cowshed) and tried to persuade him for shifting the cattle at new gowshala situated at Malout Road but under the garb and threat of religious exploitation, the shifting of gowshala at old grain market is still under process. Even in a meeting conducted by the deponent with the said Jasraj alongwith his other executive members of gowshala, the agenda of shifting old gowshala has proved a futile exercise because the manager Sh.Jasraj and Pag
CWP No.4779 of 2003
members are demanding a land of 20 acres in the city Muktsar for shifting the old gowshala. Since this demand is totally ingenuine, unjust and impracticable and above all due to the weak financial condition of Nagar Council, Muktsar, the gowshala at old grain market is still in existence.
In the said meeting which was attended by the deponent alongwith the President of Nagar Council, Muktsar Bawa Gurinder Singh Koki tried to persuade Shri Jasraj and his other executive members that under the Integrated Development Scheme for Medium and Small Towns (IDSMT), the existing building is to be demolished for construction of booths and shops by the Nagar Council, Muktsar but the said Jasraj and his executive members were adamant on their own demands. However, as stated in the reply filed earlier by the deponent a new gowshala has already been constructed at Malout Road, Muktsar on the land on Nagar Council, Muktsar in which at present 40-50 cows have been placed. This gowshala is managed by Shri Radhey Krishan Gow Sewa Samiti vide registrationNo.2531. It is relevant to mention here that this Samiti managing the cows in this cowshed is functioning with the cooperation and coordination of Nagar Council, Muktsar as well as on the donations of the local Pag
CWP No.4779 of 2003
inhabitants. This gowshala is fully equipped with basic amenities like water, light points. Basic hygienic condition is also maintained by the workers of Samiti. A few photographs taken on 26.10.2000 are also annexed with this affidavit as Annexure RA-8.
(g) Timber Market: At present there is no timber market in existence at the old grain market site.
(h) Construction of booths/shops: Under the IDMST scheme total 18 shops have already been
constructed and the remaining work of
construction of shops in the old grain market would commence as and when the structures of Market Committee building would be demolished.
The factum of showing the total 18 shops in the form of photographs is annexed herewith as Annexure RA/9."
From the perusal of the aforesaid stand taken by the official respondents, it is apparent that by and large development works have been substantially carried out by the Municipal Council.
It appears that road carpeting in some of the area is yet to be completed. However, the main dispute remains with regard to the existence of the old office of Market Committee, Muktsar which is presently being used by some Gaushala (cow shed). Although the respondent Council has maintained that the matter has been taken with the management of the said Gaushala to shift the same to the new site where a new Gaushala has been constructed, but it appears Pag
CWP No.4779 of 2003
that the management of Gaushala using the old building of the market committee is adamant in not shifting the said Gaushala In this view of the matter, the Municipal Council has to seek its remedies, in accordance with law, to get the said site vacated. It may have to resort to proceedings under the Punjab Public Premises & Land (Eviction and Rent Recovery) Act, 1973. In any case, since the aforesaid Gaushala or its management are not before this Court as party respondent, therefore, no direction can be issued by this Court qua the said site. We may also notice that providing of amenities and development of an area is an on going process and no specific yardstick can be fixed by the Court. However, efforts made by the Municipal Council satisfy us that an earnest attempt is being made by the Committee to develop the entire area as per the original scheme.
Keeping in view the stand taken by the respondents and also the difficulty expressed by them in the affidavit dated October 28, 2006 with regard to the existence of Gaushala in the old market committee building, we do not deem it appropriate to proceed with the matter any further. Accordingly, we dispose of the present writ petition with a liberty to the petitioners as well as the respondent Council to take such proceedings in the matter, as may be required in accordance with law.
The present petition is disposed of accordingly.
November 27, 2006 (H.S. Bhalla)
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