10 June 2024


High Court of Tripura

Shyamal Kar and Ors. Vs. Agartala Municipal Corporation and Ors.




Tenants do not have unlimited right to continue to enjoy tenancy in perpetuity

Petitioner has challenged an order under which he has been granted a period of seven days by the Assistant Commissioner of Agartala Municipal Corporation (AMC) to vacate a stall occupied by the Petitioner situated on the southern end of MG Bazaar (West) pond area.

The Petitioner is occupying commercial premises in the shape of a stall given to the Petitioner on rent by AMC. The Petitioner pays periodic rent for such occupancy. The Petitioner is running a business of selling medicines from the said place since long.

According to the AMC, in order to develop MG Bazaar (West) pond area and in order to facilitate approach road, parking space and easy access to fire service vehicles in the area, it was necessary to remove the encroachments which had over a period of time cropped up at the edge of the lake as also to cancel fully or partially certain toujis granted to the individual businessman at the said site. The Petitioner's stall is situated at the southern edge of the lake and was one of the several structures which the corporation intended to remove in order to achieve the above stated purpose. After issuing the notice to the petitioner and granting hearing, impugned order dated 16th September, 2019 came to be passed.

The Tripura Municipal Act, 1994 contains Chapter-XII pertaining to Municipal markets and slaughter houses. Section-181 contained in the said chapter envisages that, the Municipality may provide and maintain Municipal markets, slaughter houses or stockyards in such manner as it may think fit together with stalls, shops, sheds and other buildings and conveniences for the use of persons carrying on trade or business in or frequenting such markets or slaughter houses. Sub-section 1 of Section 182 of the Act provides that, no person shall without the general or special permission in writing of the Municipality, sell or expose for sale any commodity or article or animal or bird in any Municipal market or utilize such space within the Municipal market for any other purpose.

Section-183 of the Act provides that the Municipality may charge such premium, stallage, rent or fees as may, from time to time, be fixed in this behalf for the occupation or use of any stall, shop, stand, shed or open space in a Municipal market or Municipal slaughter houses.

The Petitioners who are tenants of the AMC, have no unlimited right to continue to enjoy such tenancy in perpetuity. When larger public interest bona fide demonstrated by the AMC require eviction of some of the occupants, no vested rights are demonstrated which would prevent the AMC from cancelling the tenancy and seeking eviction of the premises.

The Petitioners have not thus made out any case of the AMC acting under the directorates of the State Government and without the concurrence of the Mayor of the corporation. Since all the Petitioners have been doing their small businesses from small establishments in Municipal market area since decades, they would have at least legitimate expectation of being resettled elsewhere and to that extent, the petitioners can make a case. However, from the inception, the corporation has shown willingness to resettle the Petitioners. The proposal for cancellation of touji and eviction of the occupants itself contains such a suggestion.

The Petitioners must be prepared to suffer some inconvenience in the process of relocation. The petitioners obviously cannot reject such an offer only on the ground that the place where they are doing the business offer more attractive commercial site than one which is being offered to them by the AMC.

However, it is left for the corporation to work out with the Petitioners if the petitioners or any of them show interest in accepting the alternative offer. Writ petitions are disposed of accordingly.

Tags : Eviction Relocation Legality

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