Patna HC directs Demolition of 4-storey Building near it

Deepali Kalia

Published on: August 09, 2021, at 14:24 IST

Patna High Court ordered the demolition of a four-storey structure funded by the State Minority Welfare Department which was being constructed near the northern side of the High Court’s newly inaugurated Centenary Building within a month.

Suo-moto cognizance of the matter was taken by the Court on 1st March 2021 and the matter was registered as Public Interest Litigation as per the directions of the Chief Justice of the High Court.

The matter was posted before a Five Judge Special Bench comprising Justices Vikash Jain, Ashwani Kumar Singh, Rajendra Kumar Mishra, Chakradhari Sharan Singh and Ahsanuddin Amanullah.

The Court in its 4:1 judgment held that the construction was illegal according to the Bihar Building Bylaws, 2014 and also directed that an inquiry commission be set up by the State government in order to affix responsibility on those government officials who allowed the illegal construction of the said building and caused around Rs 14 crore of public money to be wasted.

Bihar State Building Construction Corporation limited was constructing the structure for Bihar State Sunni Waqf Board who wanted to use the building as a ‘musafirkhana’.

Patna Municipal Corporation was also directed by the Court to demolish the building immediately if the Building Construction Department didn’t do so within the requisite time period.

While three judges accepted the lead judgment by Justice Jain, Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah gave the dissenting opinion stating that the said construction was not illegal but irregular.

Justice Amanullah further remarked that the violation was not of such a high degree that complete demolition would be required; instead to fix the irregularity, the excess 10 feet height of the structure violating the Bye-law can be demolished.

However, the majority of the Court ruled the structure to be in in complete violation of Bylaw number 21which stated that no building exceeding 10 metres height shall be allowed within 200 metres radius from the boundary of, the state secretariat, governor’s house, High Court, legislative assembly, and other such buildings.

The construction was also in violation of Bylaw number 8(1)(A) which stated that no structure can be built without prior permission around significant places mentioned above.

The property of Waqf Estate was Suo-moto taken up by the Waqf Board for construction of musafirkhana, which it had no authority to do so as per the Central Waqf Act, 1993 and Bihar Wakf Act, 1947, the Court observed.

Click here to Read/Download the Order

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