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'Indore City Cleanest In India': Madhya Pradesh High Court Says Municipal Corporations Can Clear Scrap Material From Private Land If Owners Don't

Zeeshan Thomas
5 April 2022 8:02 AM GMT
Indore City Cleanest In India: Madhya Pradesh High Court Says Municipal Corporations Can Clear Scrap Material From Private Land If Owners Dont
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Citing environmental concerns, the Madhya Pradesh High Court, Indore Bench recently refused to interfere with the direction of the Writ Court, whereby the landowners were directed to remove scrap material and other items from their land. The division bench of Justice Vivek Rusia and Justice A.N. Kesharwani was dealing with a writ appeal preferred by Appellants who were aggrieved by...

Citing environmental concerns, the Madhya Pradesh High Court, Indore Bench recently refused to interfere with the direction of the Writ Court, whereby the landowners were directed to remove scrap material and other items from their land.

The division bench of Justice Vivek Rusia and Justice A.N. Kesharwani was dealing with a writ appeal preferred by Appellants who were aggrieved by the order of the Writ Court, whereby the Municipal Corporation was directed to remove scrap material and other items from the land of the Appellants/Petitioners.

The case of the Appellants was that the Municipal Corporation had demolished illegal construction on their land and the debris had been lying here for almost a year. The Municipal Corporation sent dumpers on site to clear the scarp material without issuing notice to the Appellants. Aggrieved by the same, they approached the Writ Court, which directed the Corporation to remove the scrap material and other items from the site.

The Appellants argued that relief granted by the Writ Court was contrary to what they had sought for. They argued that the scrap material was not causing any inconvenience to the general public, and therefore, the Municipal Corporation had no authority to remove the scrap material and other items.

Per contra, the Municipal Corporation argued that the Writ Court had passed the impugned order after the parties arrived at a consensus and therefore, the appeal was not maintainable. It was further submitted that the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation had powers under Section 213 of the M.P. Municipal Corporation Act, 1956 to call upon the owner of such premises or the owner of the materials or debris of building materials stored or collected in or upon any premises to remove the same.

The Municipal Corporation brought to the knowledge of the Court that the debris was being spread over the street, causing inconvenience to the general public and that they were only removing that part. Citing provisions under Section 216 of the Act, it was further argued that the Appellants could not be permitted to keep the said material for a longer period.

Concurring with the submissions of the Municipal Corporation, the Court observed that the Appellants could not be permitted to store the scrap material for an indefinite period. Citing Section 313 of the Act, the Court noted that the Municipal Corporation had powers to call upon the owner of the property or owner of the material to remove or dispose of building material.

Explaining the harmful effects of such debris on the Environment, the Court opined that its removal was in the interest of the public at large-

The collection of garbage or waste material or scrap or trash of large quantity lying in an open place may spread unhygienic things and may give rise to the growth of mosquitoes, bacteria, rats, etc. Another negative impact of waste materials on the environment is the creation of air pollution. Trash often carries an odour with it, which suggests that it is giving off chemical gasses to the air around it which can have potentially life-threatening effects over time. Not only does waste removal contribute to air pollution, but it also contributes to water pollution. Whenever dangerous chemicals and toxins build up around waste removal plants, they will run off into nearby water. It will also seep into the soil and affect the quality of the surface water. Indore city is known for cleanest in India. Indore Municipal Corporation has to maintain the cleanliness of the city in the public interest.

Making the aforesaid observations, the Court directed that if the waste material, scrap, trash and other items were not disposed of from the site within a reasonable time, the Municipal Corporation could remove the same thereafter and recover the cost from the Appellants.

With the said directions, the Court upheld the decision of the Writ Court and accordingly, the Appeal was dismissed.

Case Title : Smt. Farha @ Premlata and ors v Indore Municipal Corporation and ors.

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