Bombay HC: Right to Livelihood includes Right to Live in Safe Buildings and Houses

Bombay High court Law Insider

Munmun Kaur

Published On: February 28, 2022 at 13:09 IST

The Bombay High Court on February 26, observed that the Right to livelihood enshrined under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution includes the Right to live in safe buildings and houses.

The observation was made by the Bench Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni.

The High Court had taken Suo Motu Cognizance of the concerning issue of human lives being lost due to collapsing of buildings in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra.

The Bench also observed that the owner of the building, whether Private or a Public body, has a Constitutional obligation to ensure the safety of the building premises so that the lives of the occupants are not endangered by a likely collapse.

The High Court emphasized the need for a mechanism where the concerned officers within their jurisdiction would enforce an audit of buildings as required by Law and buildings that are notified as ruinous could be vacated and incidents of collapse could be avoided.

The Bench also remarked on the nuance of corruption that persists and Municipal and Public Officials who knowingly derelict from their official duties leading to loss of innocent lives.

The Bench noted that in the scheme of Constitutional Governance, it is not possible to assume that a Public Official can remain without Public accountability to people.

The Bench added, “This would certainly require the Court to strictly deal with such Officials as the Law would mandate the Court to deal with them. They ought to be under any impression that they can evade law with impunity.”

The Bench also observed that there are buildings, newly constructed with sub-standard material, on account of which they become hazardous to live in and ultimately collapse and that they should be brought to the notice of the authorities without any dereliction.

The High Court said, “Strong arms of law are required to save Human Lives. Safety of building premises is paramount so that lives are not endangered.”

Further, the High Court opined that the chaotic state of affairs of mushrooming of slums on every possible open land can be avoided by mass public housing schemes.

Also read:

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