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Delhi High Court dismisses petition against Junior Engineer for carrying out unannounced demolition in Karol Bagh

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The Delhi High Court has recently dismissed a Petition seeking direction to the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NrDMC) to take disciplinary action against the Junior Engineer (B), Karol Bagh Zone for carrying out demolition action on 26/04/2022 without following due process of law.

The Single Bench of Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri heard a Petition filed by Manmeet Kaur Bagga through Advocate Gagan Gandhi which further seeks direction to the NrDMC to pay compensation to the petitioner through the Junior Engineer for carrying out demolition action at the subject property without following due process of law and causing humiliation to the petitioner.

According to the Petition , the Junior Engineer (B) employed with the NrDMC took demolition action against the property of the petitioner on 26/04/2022 without issuing any notice/order/intimation to the petitioner in violation of the principles of natural justice at the behest of the Private Respondent with the aid of the Station House Officer (S.H.O.) Kirti Nagar Police Station.

It is alleged that the Private Respondents have been creating undue pressure on the Petitioner to sell her property i.e. Second Floor along with Roof/Terrace rights of property situated in Kirti Nagar Delhi.

The Private Respondent filed a complaint dated 05/08/2021 against the petitioner for carrying construction at the property. The Assistant Engineer (B), Karol Bagh Zone employed with the NrDMC requested the S.H.O. to stop the alleged construction activity at the property of the petitioner. Later the Private Respondent filed a complaint dated 9/08/2021 against the petitioner to the Executive Engineer (B), Karol Bagh Zone of the NrDMC.

Aggrieved by the interference caused by the Private Respondents to the petitioner from using the common staircase, the petitioner filed suit for permanent, mandatory and prohibitory injunction against the Private Respondent before the court of Civil Judge, West, Tis Hazari Courts. The Trial Court granted interim protection via its order dated 02/11/2021 to the petitioner from the Private Respondent from causing interference to the use of the common staircase. Being aggrieved by the interim protection granted to the petitioner, the Private Respondents started harassing the petitioner and her family by filing false complaint(s) , said the Petition.

Later the Junior Engineer(B) along with the officials of the S.H.O forcefully entered into the premises of the petitioner on 26/04/2022 without any prior notice/intimation and carried out demolition action on the already existing structure, the Petition states.

Grounds mentioned in the Petition.

A. Because the demolition action taken by the Junior Engineer(B) on behalf of the NrDMC on 26/04/2022 is illegal, arbitrary, unreasonable and perverse in the eyes of law .

B. Because the conduct of the NrDMC and the Junior Engineer(B) is in complete violation of section 343 of the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, 1957 as no notice was served upon the petitioner.

C. Because the exercise of power by the Junior Engineer(B) is in violation of section 440 and section 491 of Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, 1957.

D. Because if a statute provides for a thing to be done in a particular manner, then it has to be done in that manner alone and in no other manner.

E. Because the Junior Engineer(B) and the S.H.O. failed to act fairly while discharging their administrative function.

F. Because the demolition action taken by the Junior Engineer(B) is in violation of Article 300A of the Constitution and hence violative of the constitutional right of the petitioner.

G. Because the demolition action taken by the Junior Engineer(B) in collusion with the officials of the S.H.O. is malafide ,the same being carried out at the behest of the Private Respondents.

H. Because the demolition action taken by the Junior Engineer(B) on 26/04/2022 in collusion with the S.H.O. is without any speaking order.

I. Because the petitioner could not get an opportunity to exercise her legal remedy in the absence of any notice/order served upon her.

J. Because the demolition action by the Junior Engineer(B) on behalf of the NrDMC is premeditated and pre-judged and hence against settled principle of law.

K. Because the petitioner was not told about the alleged unauthorized construction and the allegations based on which the Junior Engineer(B) carried out demolition action in violation of reasonable opportunity of defense and an opportunity of making an objection .

L. Because of the demolition action taken by the Junior Engineer(B) on behalf of the NrDMC in collusion with the S.H.O. at the behest of the Private Respondents is against the principle of “ audi alteram partem” .

M.Because the statutory right of the petitioner of going in an appeal with the appellate tribunal constituted under section 347-A of the DMC Act, 1957 under section 347-B of the DMC Act by pursuing the procedure under section 347-C of the Delhi Municipal Corporation (DMC) Act has been frustrated as she has not been furnished with the show cause notice and or demolition order, the grounds of the appeal enumerating from the order.

N. Because the demolition action taken by the Junior Engineer(B) on 26/04/2022 against the subject matter property was not preceded by rules of natural justice and fair procedure.

O. Because the purported act and conduct of the respondent authorities is arbitrary, whimsical, unreasonable, unjust, unfair and also in violation of the fundamental rights protected Under the Constitution of India and are therefore liable to be intervened by the High Court.

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