In Town Area Committee v Prabhu Dayal case, it was held that where there is a legal action authorized by the law, then it is not necessary to assess if it was done with mala fide intention.
Prabhu Dayal (Plaintiff) vs Town Area Committee, Vice Chairman (Defendant)
- Plaintiff constructed 16 shops on Garhi (a building) giving no notice under Section 178 to the Authority and without obtaining necessary Sanction under Section 180 of UP Municipal Act.
- Defendants demolished these constructions when the plaintiff was out of town.
- 1st Notice under Section 186 & 302 of UP Municipal Act was served to plaintiff on 18th December (while the construction was going on) to stop the further construction.
- They served 2nd Notice on 21st December to plaintiff, by which DM directed Town Area Committee to demolish the construction if the plaintiff does not comply with it, to stop construction within 2 hours of serving of the notice.
- Previously, Lower appellate Court decided in favor of Plaintiff where Plaintiff contended they should pay damages to him because of mala fide intention of the Defendant.
- The mala fide intention was proved by the plaintiff claiming the notice to be bad as they gave only 2 hours to the Plaintiff to stop the construction.
Can a legal action, even if having the element of mala fide intention, by a person authorized by will make him liable to pay the damages to the party against whom the said legal action was taken?
- SC observed that the decision of lower appellate Court was not apt.
- The SC then said that Plaintiff can get compensation only when he proves the injury suffered by him is through the illegal act of the defendant. Mala fide intention is of no consideration when the act by the Defendant is legal.
- Here, in this case, damages are with no legal injury caused to the Plaintiff by the Defendant. This is also a legal maxim, damnum sine injuria.
- The Court observed the Plaintiff was guilty of committing the wrong as he had given no notice under section 178 of UP Municipal Act and also; he had got no sanction under Section 180.
- Section 185 of Municipal Act provides the offence and punishment for not fulfilling the requirements under Section 178 & 180 of the Municipal Act.
- Now, here, as per Section 186, the Board has power to demolish the construction of the Plaintiff if the offence committed by him falls under Section 185.
- Also, Plaintiff did not appear to the authorities after serving of the 1st Notice on 18th December and there was no objection about the insufficient time provided in the 2nd notice of 21st December.
- Court also said that there was no merit in the Plaintiff’s contention to enjoy the fundamental right to hold the property because there is no right to enjoy property not legally got or constructed. Since the construction was illegal, there was no ‘injury’ caused to the Plaintiff.
Therefore, the appeal of Defendant was allowed in the appellate Court and it set aside the decree of the lower appellate Court.
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