Libertatem Magazine

Gujarat HC Orders Trust to move Applications through the Appropriate Authorities i.e. Joint Charity Commissioner

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In this case, Tirupati Enterprise Thru … vs Joint Charity Commissioner, Letters Patent Appeal (an appeal from a decision of a single judge to another bench of the same court) had been preferred “assailing the correctness of the judgment and order” passed by the learned Single Judge in 2019.

The Appellant is a Tenant of the Respondent No.2 i.e. A Trust for the 36 years (1984). The Trust moved 3 applications before the Joint Charity Commissioner (JCC) for sale of 3 different properties which did not cover the premises in which the appellant is a tenant. The JCC passed an order in 2018 while rejecting the 3 applications filed by the Trust, issued further directions that the Trust may evict all the unauthorised occupants from all its properties and only then, approach it for the permission to sell.

This was challenged in 2019 by the present appellant on the ground that the JCC had no authority to issue such “sweeping and general directions” for eviction of the petitioner, who was also a tenant, without even affording an opportunity of hearing. The learned Single Judge, after considering the submissions, dismissed the writ petition saying that the petitioner had an alternative remedy of approaching the Gujarat Revenue Tribunal against the order of the JCC. There was an application filed by the appellant supported by the Trust where it had agreed to sell its properties in tenancy of the appellant to it at a rate higher than the jantri rate and the market value, but an objection was raised saying that the JCC is the one who has the power to deal with such application of the Trust for disposal of the property.

Arguments before the Court

The Appellants contended that the directions issued by the JCC for eviction of all the tenants of the Trust, was unwarranted and illegal and the learned Single Judge as such committed an error in not setting aside the same, but however if the Court believes that Trust should approach the JCC seeking permission to sell the property in tenancy of the present appellant to it, then at least the observations made by the learned Single Judge may not come in the way of the Joint Charity Commissioner. On the other side, the Respondents argued that the Trust shouldn’t be stopped from moving an application before the JCC for sale of the property which is to be considered on its own merit independently by the Joint Charity Commissioner, however, that the observations made by the learned Single Judge should remain intact.

Decision of the Court

The Court held that the Trust may move an appropriate application before the JCC for sale of the property whereupon the Joint Charity Commissioner would take an appropriate decision strictly in accordance with law after verification of all the relevant and material facts.

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