Kerala High Court: DDMA Can Take Over Unoccupied Residential Buildings Due to the Pandemic

Must Read

Gujarat High Court Allows Report Filed by Official Liquidator for Dissolution of the Company

The present report had been filed by the Official Liquidator for the dissolution of M/s AtRo Limited under the...

Parents of Road Accident Victim Entitled To Compensation: Delhi High Court

Justice JR Midha said, “Even if parents are not dependent on their children at the time of an accident, they will certainly be dependent, both financially and emotionally, upon them at the later stage of their life, as the children were dependent upon their parents in their initial years.”

Plea Challenging the AIBE Rules Framed by BCI Filed in the Supreme Court

A Writ Petition was presently filed in the Supreme Court by a newly enrolled lawyer challenging the All India Bar Examination Rules 2010 which have been framed by the Bar Council of India which mandates that an advocate has to qualify for the All India Bar Examination (AIBE) to practice law after enrollment.

Bombay High Court: Mere Presence at the Crime Scene Not Enough for Punishment

The Bombay High Court ruled that it cannot be considered a crime if a person is merely present at the crime scene which falls under the Maharashtra Prohibition of Obscene Dance in Hotels and Restaurants and Bar Rooms and Protection of Dignity of Women Act 2016. It also quashed two First Information Reports (FIR) against two individuals who were arrested in a raid at a dance bar by the Santacruz Police, in 2017.

CAIT Files a Plea Against WhatsApp’s New Privacy Policy in the Supreme Court

Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has filed a petition against WhatsApp’s new privacy rules in the Supreme Court. The petition says that WhatsApp which is known to render public services by providing a platform to communicate has recently imposed a privacy policy that is unconstitutional, which not only goes against the fundamental rights of citizens but also jeopardizes the national security of our country.

RTI Activist Files a Plea in Bombay High Court Against Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin

On Saturday, a plea has been filed before the Bombay High Court by an activist stating that Bharat Biotech Covaxin had not been granted full approval but a restricted use in clinical trials according to the Drugs Comptroller General of India. The Company's phase 3 trials are ongoing and the DGCI has not made any data available in the public domain for peer- review by independent scientists.

Follow us

The Kerala H.C. dismissed the petitions filed before it against the action of the District Disaster Management Authority of taking-over of private residential buildings without issuing notice to all owners.

Brief Facts of the Case 

Two writ petitions filed in the Kerala H.C. raised competing claims of primacy between the Disaster Management Laws and Fundamental Rights of the citizens. The petitions were filed by the residents and the builder, respectively. The DDMA aggrieved them by taking over their apartment building for using it as COVID First-Line Treatment centre.

Arguments by the Petitioners

The petitioners argued that they were “virtually evicted from the building with force”. They termed the takeover, while the finishing work was going on, as “unwarranted, uncalled for and grossly illegal”. There was no notice to the affected parties before the takeover. The order issued by the Chairman, DDMA only permits takeover of closed hospitals, lodges, resorts, schools, colleges, community halls and such buildings. They argued that the order does not contemplate takeover of residential buildings. Thus, the forceful takeover amounts to infringement of their right to life and property.

The SoP for healthcare in CFLTCs was also raised. It was highlighted that the apartment complex of the petitioners is not suitable for the intended purpose. The counsel also pointed out that other adequate facilities exist in the district. Take over of private buildings is also not provided for in the DMA, 2005. Thus, he argued that it violates Art. 21 and 300A of the constitution.

Arguments by the Respondents

The counsel for respondents submitted that the state is going through a critical time. It calls for the invocation of all powers with the state under the DMA, to protect citizens. The state is facing a dearth of adequate health infrastructure. Establishing CFLTs in nearby COVID Hospitals is imperative to foster COVID Treatment System.

It was also pointed out that the two families, which left the building before the takeover, did not make any complaints at that time. They are residing in inconvenient places. Also, they cannot occupy their flats in the building as an occupancy certificate is not issued. Thus, their rights are not violated per se. Moreover, S. 72 of DMA provides that it will have an overriding effect over all other laws. Thus, the Kerala Municipal Building laws will not have any effect in this instance.

It was brought to notice that over 40,000 expatriates are expected to arrive in the current month in the district, and cases within the district are also rising. Hence, improving resources and infrastructure is of paramount importance. Therefore, the act of the respondent is only bonafide and legal.

Observations by the Court

The court noted that the Covid-19 pandemic would fall within the ambit of “disaster” as under S. 2(d) of DMA. Thus, it will be open to the DDMA to procure the use of amenities, including buildings from any authority or persons, even without formal requisition. This is granted byS.34 of the DMA. The judgement also quotes Vidura Niti and Kautilya. The judge commented that our society is one of sacrifice, and the happiness of the state lies in the happiness and welfare of the citizens.

The court noted that though Fundamental Rights are placed at the highest pedestal, even they are not absolute. The court observed that, Art. 21 and Art. 300A are subject to restriction under the procedure established by law. In the present instance, the procedure is nothing but as established in the DMA, 2005. Hence, the petitioners cannot claim that their constitutional right to life and the right to property is violated. The court also stated that the life of citizenry as a whole is in threat. Thus, the state cannot be expected to issue individual notices to all apartment owners. The builder of the apartment was heard. The residents who were physically occupying the building were informed. Strict extension of the principles of natural justice to flat owners, whose whereabouts are not immediately known, will put the life and safety of the citizenry in peril.

Held

Hence, on these grounds, the Kerala H.C. dismissed the petitions.


Libertatem.in is now on Telegram. Follow us for regular legal updates and judgments from the court. Follow us on Google News, InstagramLinkedInFacebook & Twitter. You can also subscribe to our Weekly Email Updates. You can also contribute stories like this and help us spread awareness for a better society. Submit Your Post Now.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Latest News

Gujarat High Court Allows Report Filed by Official Liquidator for Dissolution of the Company

The present report had been filed by the Official Liquidator for the dissolution of M/s AtRo Limited under the provisions of Section 497 (6)...

Parents of Road Accident Victim Entitled To Compensation: Delhi High Court

Justice JR Midha said, “Even if parents are not dependent on their children at the time of an accident, they will certainly be dependent, both financially and emotionally, upon them at the later stage of their life, as the children were dependent upon their parents in their initial years.”

Plea Challenging the AIBE Rules Framed by BCI Filed in the Supreme Court

A Writ Petition was presently filed in the Supreme Court by a newly enrolled lawyer challenging the All India Bar Examination Rules 2010 which have been framed by the Bar Council of India which mandates that an advocate has to qualify for the All India Bar Examination (AIBE) to practice law after enrollment.

Bombay High Court: Mere Presence at the Crime Scene Not Enough for Punishment

The Bombay High Court ruled that it cannot be considered a crime if a person is merely present at the crime scene which falls under the Maharashtra Prohibition of Obscene Dance in Hotels and Restaurants and Bar Rooms and Protection of Dignity of Women Act 2016. It also quashed two First Information Reports (FIR) against two individuals who were arrested in a raid at a dance bar by the Santacruz Police, in 2017.

CAIT Files a Plea Against WhatsApp’s New Privacy Policy in the Supreme Court

Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has filed a petition against WhatsApp’s new privacy rules in the Supreme Court. The petition says that WhatsApp which is known to render public services by providing a platform to communicate has recently imposed a privacy policy that is unconstitutional, which not only goes against the fundamental rights of citizens but also jeopardizes the national security of our country.

RTI Activist Files a Plea in Bombay High Court Against Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin

On Saturday, a plea has been filed before the Bombay High Court by an activist stating that Bharat Biotech Covaxin had not been granted full approval but a restricted use in clinical trials according to the Drugs Comptroller General of India. The Company's phase 3 trials are ongoing and the DGCI has not made any data available in the public domain for peer- review by independent scientists.

WhatsApp Emails Delhi HC Judge Asking Her Not To Hear the Plea Challenging New Privacy Policy

The Delhi High Court raised strong objection to an E-mail sent by WhatsApp asking a judge not to hear the plea which challenges its new privacy policy. Justice Pratibha Singh said that the e-mail that was withdrawn later was totally unwarranted as she was anyway going to recuse from hearing the plea which was filed by Rohilla Chaitanya who contends that the new privacy policy of WhatsApp provides 360-degree access to a customer’s virtual activity and is against the fundamental right of privacy.

TRP Scam Case: Bombay HC Extends Protection To Arnab Goswami and Other Employees Till the Next Hearing

On Friday, the Bombay High court extended the protection that was given, to Republic TV’s Editor in Chief Arnab Goswami and other employees of ARG Outlier Media Private Limited till January 29th in the alleged case of Television Rating Point manipulation. A status report was submitted by the police to the division bench of Justices S.S.Shinde and Manish Pitale by the Police on the ongoing case.

Plea Seeks FIR Against Maharashtra Minister Dhananjay Munde in Bombay HC for False Info

A plea has been filed in Bombay High Court seeking an FIR against Maharashtra minister Dhananjay Munde who is undergoing times of trouble due to his extra-marital affair. Recently, an FIR had been lodged against Munde by a woman, accusing him of raping her sister. Munde clarified that he was actually in a relationship with that woman and had two children. He accused the two women of blackmailing him.

Writ Petition for Compensation Accepted by Calcutta High Court 

Introduction The Petitioner Purna Ch. Biswas filed a Writ Petition with the complaint that their claims for a higher quantum of compensation have not yet...

More Articles Like This

- Advertisement -