Impugned Final Notice Passed Without Considering Explanation of Petitioner Is Liable To Be Set Aside With Direction to Respondents To Consider Explanation: Andhra Pradesh High Court 

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Excerpt

A single-judge bench consisting of Honorable Justice Cheekati Manavendranath Roy passed an order in the Writ Petition no. 8466 of 2021. The Writ Petition was filed by the Petitioner challenging the impugned order dated 31.03.2021 issued by the 2nd Respondent- The Municipal Commissioner to demolish the residential house of the Petitioner. 

Facts

In this case, the Petitioner had constructed a three-storeyed building within the limits of the municipality about three years ago. Some third-party complained to the authorities (i.e. 2nd Respondent-Municipality) that it is an unauthorized building. Therefore, based on the Complaint the Municipal authority issued a notice dated 15.03.2021 to the Petitioner pointing out some violations and deviations from the plan and stated that the building was an unauthorized construction. The Petitioner was asked to submit his explanation relating to the matter on 15.03.2021. Later, a notice was issued by the 2nd Respondent- The Commissioner of Municipal Corporation stating that the Petitioner did not submit the explanation in compliance with the show cause notice dated 15.03.2021, issued to him and further directed to demolish the building. Aggrieved by the same the Petitioner filed a Writ Petition in the court challenging the orders passed by the Respondent on the grounds that the notice was issued without considering the explanation and without hearing the Petitioner. 

Arguments Advanced

The learned counsel appearing for the Petitioner submitted before the High Court that after receipt of the order dated 15.03.2021, the Petitioner sent a reply to the said notice by way of legal notice, dated 26.03.2021. However, it did not reach the 2nd Respondent within time. Therefore, the final notice was issued in haste without considering the explanation of the Petitioner and without hearing him. So, on the said grounds the orders passed are not valid. 

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The learned standing counsel for the 2nd Respondent- Municipality submitted before the court that although the said legal notice did not reach the Respondent on time and the Respondent had received the reply notice only on 03.04.2021 after the final notice was issued on 31.03.2021. Therefore, in such a case the Petitioner’s reply could not be considered. 

Court’s Analysis

The Court after analyzing all the facts and circumstances of the case is of the opinion that the Petitioner submitted his explanation by way of a legal notice and that did not reach the authorities within time. The impugned final order which was issued by the Respondent was issued without considering the explanation of the Petitioner and without hearing the Petitioner. Therefore, this order is liable to be set aside with a direction to the Respondents to consider the explanation issued by the way of a legal notice. 

Court’s Decision

The court has set aside the impugned final notice, dated 31.03.2021, with a direction to 2nd Respondent- The Municipal Commissioner to consider the explanation submitted by the Petitioner in the form of the legal notice, dated 26.03.2021, and then pass appropriate order according to the law within three weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order or from the date on which a copy of the order is produced before the concerned authorities by the Petitioner. Any application pending shall stand closed and there are no orders as to costs. 

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Click here to view the Judgement.


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