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The West Bengal Government Premises (Tenancy Regulation) Act is not applicable to bare land; SC.

Supreme Court of India

Justice S. Abdul Nazeer & Justice Deepak Gupta

The SC on March 18, 2020 {WEST BENGAL SMALL INDUSTRIES DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION LTD.  & ORS. v. M/S. SONA PROMOTERS PVT. LTD. & ORS.} held that the High Court has rightly returned the finding that the Corporation has to seek eviction of respondent   No.1   from   the   premises   in   question   under  the provisions of the West Bengal Public Land (Eviction of Unauthorized Occupants) Act, 1962 and the eviction petition is not maintainable under West Bengal Government Premises (Tenancy Regulation) Act, 1976 (for short ‘the   Act’) and it is liable to be dismissed

It was held that the lease was in respect of three plots of land which did not contain any building and these plots of land do not satisfy   the   requirements   of   definition   of   “Government   premises” within the meaning of Section 2(a) read with Section 2(c) of the West Bengal Government Premises (Tenancy Regulation) Act, 1976.

It was held thus,   when   the   eviction   proceedings   were   initiated, admittedly, the land in question did not contain any structures. It was held that if the bare land is let out by the government undertaking and it continues to be a bare land as on the date of initiation of eviction proceedings, the incidence of such tenancy cannot be governed by the provisions of the Act and such a tenant cannot be evicted by taking aid of the provisions of the Act.

It was further held that it is an admitted position that the Corporation is registered under   the   Companies   Act,   1956.  It was held that the Corporation   is   under the administrative control of the State Government and almost all the shares of the Corporation, are held by the State Government, apart from a few shares which are held by IAS officers in their official capacity. It was held that it owes its status as a body corporate to the Companies Act   enacted   by   the   Parliament.     It was held that, however  the appellant­-company is a “Government undertaking” as defined in Section 2(b) of the Act. But it was opined that in view of Section 2(a) and 2(c) of the Act, as aforesaid, the eviction petition is not maintainable.

In the present case, the appeal was directed against the order, whereby the Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court has allowed the Writ Petition and has quashed the order of eviction passed by appellant No.5 against respondent No.1. The said judgment was upheld and the appeal was dismissed by the SC - granting liberty to the appellant to initiate eviction proceedings under appropriate law.

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