Olga Tellis Vs Bombay Municipal Corporation

Olga Tellis Vs Bombay Municipal Corporation

FACTS:

This case is popularly known as pavement dwellers’ case. The fact of this case is there were many pavement dwellers. Among them filed a writ petition in Supreme Court under article 32 of the Indian Constitution. In this case, the petitioner had challenged the validity of section 313,313-A,314 and 497 of Bombay Municipal Corporation Act, 1888 which empowered the municipal authorities to get rid of  their huts from the pavement and public places on the ground that their removal amounted to depriving them of their right to livelihood is included in Article 21 of Indian Constitution. If they remove the huts then there is no place for the dwellers to put shops for their livelihood and how can they earn.

ISSUES:

Whether section 313,313-A,314, and 497 of the Bombay Municipal Corporation Act, 1888 violate article 21 of the Indian Constitution.

LEGAL PROVISIONS:

Section 313, 313-A,314 and 497 of Bombay Municipal Corporation Act, 1888.

Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.

PETITIONER CONTENTION:

The petitioner contended that the Bombay Municipal Corporation Act, 1888 talks about the removal of huts from the public places violates their right to live under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution as it is the only way to earn their livelihood by selling something on the pavement.if they remove the huts and where we can go to earn then it is difficult to us to live. So they pleased the court to struck down the section of the Bombay Municipal Corporation Act, 1888 as violates Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.

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RESPONDENT CONTENTION:

The respondent contended that the Bombay Municipal Corporation Act, 1888 is constitutionally valid as it concentrates the development of the cities and municipalities. The state can not be as same as old. There should be some development so this act was enacted.

OBSERVATION:

The court observed by agreeing that the right to livelihood is included in Article 21 the court held that the above sections of the Bombay Municipal Corporation Act, 1888 was constitutionally valid since they imposed reasonable restriction on the right to livelihood of pavement and slum dwellers in the interest of the general public. The public street is not meant for carrying on trade or business. However, the court took a humanistic view, and to minimize their hardship involved in the evection it directed the municipal authorities to remove them only after the end of the current monsoon season. The court also directed the corporation to border a scheme for demarcating hawking and non-hawking zones to offer them licenses for selling their goods within the hawking zone.

JUDGMENT:

The court held that the Bombay Municipal Corporation Act, 1888 was constitutionally valid and a five bench of the court has finally ruled that the word life in Article 21 includes the right to livelihood also.

Author: Anubhuti Agrawal,
Jagran Lakecity University,Bhopal

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