Heard the learned counsel for the petitioner, the learned Government Pleader for Municipal Administration and Urban Development for respondent No.1, learned Standing Counsel for GHMC for respondent No.2, learned Government Pleader for Revenue for respondent No.3, learned Government Pleader for Home for respondent No.4, and Smt. S.A.V. Ratnam, learned counsel for respondent No.5.
The present writ petition is filed by the petitioner Company being aggrieved by the order dated 13.11.2020 passed in Lr.No.1/HO/15856/2019/797 rejecting the objections raised by the petitioner for granting building permission in favour of respondent No.5 in respect of land admeasuring Ac.0-26 guntas in survey No.29 and Acs.3-33 guntas in survey No.41 totally admeasuring Acs.4-19 guntas at Gachibowli Village, Serilingampally Mandal, Ranga Reddy District.
The case of the petitioner, in brief, is that it is the absolute owner and possessor of the land admeasuring Ac.0-26 guntas in survey No.29 and Acs.3-33 guntas in survey No.41 of Gachibowli Village, Serilingampally Mandal, Ranga Reddy District, having purchased the same under various registered sale deeds. Though the petitioner has narrated the entire history of mode of acquisition of title, the same are not relevant, for the present, for disposal of the present writ petition. The main grievance of the petitioner is that the respondent No.5 without having any valid title to the subject lands, based on some created bogus documents and without filing necessary documents like NOC, filed application No.1/HO/15856/2019 for grant of building permission, to which the petitioner Company filed objections on 10.03.2020 and 12.03.2020. Pursuant thereto, the respondent No.2 held a preliminary hearing on 03.08.2020 and directed the petitioner Company and the respondent No.5 and other third parties to file written submissions. Accordingly, the petitioner submitted its written submissions on 19.08.2020 and 21.08.2020, and finally on 31.08.2020 arguments were heard via Google Meet. However, for the reasons best known to them, the GHMC authorities kept the matter pending for more than two and half months after hearing the arguments at length and finally on 13.11.2020 the impugned order was passed without referring to the objections or written submissions made by the petitioner Company without properly appreciating the documents filed by the petitioner. Hence, the petitioner is before this Court.
This Court, on 17.12.2020, while issuing notice before admission, has granted interim direction to the respondents not to make or allow any constructions on the subject land, pending disposal of the writ petition.
Respondent No.5 has filed a counter affidavit denying the material averments made in the writ affidavit, narrating the sources of title of respondent No. 5, and stating that after duly verifying the prima facie title, possession and other relevant documents, the GHMC has accorded building permission. It is further averred that the impugned order has categorically answered the objections raised by the writ petitioner as well as one K.Vijaya Kumar and the also speaks of the fact that the SDC and the LAO have issued clearance report over the title of property in favour of respondent No.5. Further, the MSBR Committee in its meeting held on 13.12.2019 had examined the matter in detail and recommended the proposal subject to certain conditions. Thus, there is no illegality or irregularity in the impugned order and the writ petition is liable to be dismissed.
Heard the parties and perused the material on record.
A perusal of the impugned order dated 13.11.2020 makes it abundantly clear that the respondent No.2 while making a note of the complaints received from the petitioner Company as well as one K.Vijay Kumar, short fall letter dated 29.01.2020 and the reply dated 04.02.2020 submitted to the said short fall letter, and the written arguments submitted by the parties, has concluded as under:
“In view of the above and after considering all the written arguments and documents submitted by all the parties, it is decided to reject the complaint petitions filed by Sri K. Vijay Kumar, M/s.Garg Properties Pvt., Ltd., and to issue building permission in favour of M/s. Spasht Management Consultants Private Limited duly obtaining undertaking that they will be held responsible any consequences in future.”
Thus, except extracting the backdrop of the case and written submissions/arguments of the parties, the respondent No.2 has absolutely not assigned any reasons in support of his conclusion.
This Court as well as the Apex Court, on number of occasions, have held that any authority/court/quasi judicial authority have to necessarily give reasoning in the order passed by them. Unless reasoning is given in the order, neither the party nor Courts before whom the order is challenged will be in a position to appreciate as to what has weighed with the said authority either for dismissing or allowing the application of the petitioner. Though the quasi judicial or administrative authority are not obligated to give a lengthy or elaborate reasoning as in the case of Judicial order, yet they are expected to give a reasoned order which should be precise, concisely setting out the reason either for allowing or dismissing the contention/application/case.
In Assistant Commissioner, Commercial Tax Department, Works Contract and Leasing, Kota vs. Shukla and Brothers (2010) 4 SCC 785), the Hon’ble Supreme Court has held as under:
“…. while exercising the power of judicial review on administrative action and more particularly the judgment of courts in appeal before the higher court, providing of reasons can never be dispensed with. The doctrine of audi alteram partem has three basic essentials. Firstly, a person against whom an order is required to be passed or whose rights are likely to be affected adversely must be granted an opportunity of being heard. Secondly, the authority concerned should provide a fair and transparent procedure and lastly, the authority concerned must apply its mind and dispose of the matter by a reasoned or speaking order ….
…. A litigant who approaches the court with any grievance in accordance with law is entitled to know the reasons for grant or rejection of his prayer. Reasons are the soul of orders. Non-recording of reasons could lead to dual infirmities; firstly, it may cause prejudice to the affected party and secondly, more particularly, hamper the proper administration of justice. These principles are not only applicable to administrative or executive actions, but they apply with equal force and, in fact, with a greater degree of precision to judicial pronouncements. The orders of the court must reflect what weighed with the court in granting or declining the relief claimed by the applicant.”
For the afore-stated reasons and in view of the ratio laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Shukla and Brothers Case (supra), without going into the merits or demerits of the case, the Writ Petition is allowed setting aside the impugned order dated 13.11.2020, and the matter is re
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manded back to the respondent No.2 for passing fresh orders, strictly in accordance with law, as expeditiously as possible preferably within a period of five weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order. It is needless to observe that before passing any orders, the petitioner as well as the respondent No.5 shall be put on notice and afforded an opportunity of hearing. In case any of the parties files any additional/ fresh material, the same shall also be taken into consideration. A copy of the order shall be communicated to the parties. It is also made clear any construction made by the parties shall be subject to the final orders likely to be passed by respondent No.2. The miscellaneous petitions pending, if any, shall also stand closed. There shall be no order as to costs.