Bouncers sent to evict govt officers from flats at Sujan Singh Park: Centre to SC
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, mentioned the matter before a bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and sought urgent hearing in the matter
The Centre on Friday told the Supreme Court that bouncers were being sent to force out government officials from flats at Sujan Singh Park, in the vicinity of Khan Market.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, mentioned the matter before a bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and sought urgent hearing in the matter.
Mehta said, "They are sending bouncers to evict. I appear for the Union of India."
The bench queried Mehta, how could somebody send bouncers to evict government officers. "It is unfortunate," replied Mehta. After a brief hearing in the matter, the top court scheduled it for further hearing on April 5.
The central government moved the top court challenging an order by the Delhi High Court, which was passed in January 2020, that affirmed the decision of the Additional Rent Control Tribunal directing the Centre to make payments of unpaid arrears of rent owed to the respondent, Sir Sobha Singh and Sons P. Ltd.
The residential flats are located in North and South of Sujan Singh Park, which were rented out to the government at concessional rates as far back as in 1944.
The Centre's plea said that a bare reading of Section 3 makes it clear that any government property demised in favour of a person in the form of a 'Grant' as per provisions of the Grants Act, will be excluded from the scope of application of the provisions of any other law/statute. It further added that any legislation which is contrary to the notions in the Government Grant, will not apply to a government property granted in favour of a specific person. It is therefore submitted that the provisions of the Grant Act will have an overriding effect over any other law, in force, which is contrary thereto.
The Centre's plea said: "The Tribunal vide order dated September 1, 2007 erroneously held that the contested property was covered under the provisions of the Delhi Rent Control Act (DRCA). Moreover, the Hon'ble High Court affirmed the said finding vide order dated January 8, 2020."
It added, "It is most reverentially submitted that the Grants Act is a special statute and so, it would prevail over other statutes and so, the provisions contained in the Grants Act will have an overriding effect on the provisions contained in the DRCA. Furthermore, it is submitted that the Transfer of Property Act, 1882 has expressly been excluded from the arena of Government Grants."
The Centre said: "Therefore, it is made abundantly clear that the High Court has erred by holding that the provisions of TPA/ DRCA will prevail over the Grants Act, in the instant case."
The government contended that rents were paid until 1989, later due to many breaches by the respondent, many litigations followed. In 1998, the respondent received a favourable order on an eviction petition before the Additional Rent Controller. The Delhi High Court also decided the appeals in the favour of the respondent.
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