Subhadra Ankush Kshirsagar &Amp; Ors Vs. State of Maharashtra &Amp; Ors
 Insc 589 (15 May 2007)
TARUN CHATTERJEE & P.K. BALASUBRAMANYAN
CIVIL APPEAL NO.2653 OF 2007 (Arising out of SLP(C) No. 3559 of 2006) P.K.
1. Leave granted.
2. This appeal by the petitioners in Writ Petition No. 1408 of 2005 on the
file of the High Court of Bombay challenges the interim order passed by the
High Court vacating the ad interim order for maintenance of status quo granted
earlier by that Court. The appellants claim to be the wives of police personnel
to whom chawls had been allotted as their quarters in Worli. According to the
appellants, the State Government had taken a decision to transfer the tenancy
rights of Government employees in occupation of chawls to their wives and in
that context the wives of retired police personnel could not be evicted from
the service quarters allotted to the policemen. In that writ petition, the
appellants had claimed an interim order restraining the respondents from evicting
the family members of the retired police personnel and of those police
personnel who are not in service. The contesting respondents resisted the
application by pointing out that the police personnel are allotted service
quarters without rent as part of their service conditions and their occupation
is governed by Section 31 of the Bombay Police Act. It was also contended that
considering the nature of the service to be rendered by police personnel
employed in the city and the special duties assigned to them, it was necessary
for the personnel to reside within the city so as to enable them to attend to
emergent calls of duty as and when needed and the available quarters with the
police department was much less than the quarters that were needed and it was in
that context that those who are not entitled to continue to occupy were sought
to be evicted.
It was also pointed out that the Government order relied on did not apply to
the buildings in question and that the buildings in question are under the
control of the police department, and that no case has been made out for any
relief to the appellants and in any event no ground existed for granting any
interim order as sought for by them.
3. The Division Bench of the High Court, on a consideration of the relevant
materials, in the light of the pleas raised by the contesting respondents found
no reason to maintain the ad interim order of status quo earlier granted and
hence vacated the order protecting the rights of the appellants, in case the
premises were sought to be commercially exploited by the Government. It is this
order refusing interim relief to the appellants as sought for by them that is
challenged in this appeal.
4. Learned counsel for the appellants relied on the order marked P-1 and
certain other subsequent orders to contend that the appellants have a prima
facie right as wives of retired police personnel to have the tenancy
transferred to them. But, in the light of the specific plea put forward in the
counter affidavit filed on behalf of the contesting respondents and the facts
detailed therein with particular reference to paragraphs 3 and 4 thereof, we
are of the view that the High Court was justified in holding that the
appellants have not made out a prima facie case for grant of an interim relief
to them as sought for by the appellants. In the circumstances, we are satisfied
that the High Court was justified in refusing interim relief to the appellants
except as indicated in the order under challenge.
5. We have desisted from discussing the questions argued before us further,
lest it prejudices the parties in the final disposal of the writ petition filed
by the appellants before the High Court. Suffice it to say that we are
satisfied that no ground is made out for interference with the order passed by
the High Court.
6. We therefore confirm that order and dismiss this appeal. The order of
status quo granted by this Court on 24.2.2006 will stand vacated. However, we
may request the High Court to dispose of the writ petition now pending before
it at an early date preferably within three months from the date of production
of a copy of this judgment.