Disturbed Areas Act: Gujarat HC grants interim relief to family facing eviction

Court issued notices to the state government, district and deputy collectors of Surat in an order passed on 1 March

Gujarat High Court (photo: IANS)
Gujarat High Court (photo: IANS)


The Gujarat High Court has granted an interim stay on a deputy collector’s order to evict a family living in a house they purchased in a locality declared a “disturbed area” in Surat.

Justice Vaibhavi Nanavati granted interim relief to the petitioner, Purshottam Umredkar, who sold the house to the family which was ordered to evict.

The court also issued notices to the state government, district and deputy collectors of Surat in an order passed on 1 March.

Umredkar moved the court challenging the eviction order dated 7 November 2023, passed by the deputy collector for alleged violation of provisions under the Disturbed Areas Act.

The court observed in a remark against the deputy collector that he had assumed the role of a civil court and stayed the order till the next returnable date on 1 April.

Under the Gujarat Prohibition of Transfer of Immovable Property and provision for protection of Tenants from Eviction from Premises in Disturbed Areas Act, 1991, no immovable property in a notified area can be bought or sold without permission from the authorities.

Transfer of properties between buyers and sellers from two different communities is scrutinised closely, and opinions of neighbours are sought before they are allowed.

The petitioner stated that he decided to sell his house to one Rajiya Khatik and made an application for the same under the Act. When the authorities failed to respond to the application, he moved the high court, and based on the court's direction, the deputy collector ordered the authorities to decide on the application within a week, the petitioner said.

The application was rejected due to some objections raised by the neighbour and no clear report from the police, he said. Umredkar said as he needed money for his wife’s medical treatment, he decided to transfer the possession of the house to Khatik.

The authorities then slapped an eviction notice on Khatik and directed the family to evict, he said.

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