High Court upholds eviction of unauthorized occupants from Mumbai International Airport, says retaining possession post land acquisition is trespass

The Bombay High Court in the case Becharabhai B. Chauhan v Mumbai International Airport Pvt. Ltd. and Anr. And connected matters upheld the eviction orders passed against a group of unauthorized occupants and claiming tenancy rights on the premises of Mumbai International Airport.

A Single bench comprising of Justice Sandeep K. Shinde observed and contended that in 1947, the land in question was acquired by the State. Thereafter, if the owner himself tries to retain possession, the owner himself will become a trespasser.

An eviction application had moved under section 28-D of the Airports Authority Act, 1994 by the Airport Authorities for seeking eviction of the petitioners from the structures situated on the Airport premises.

The application contended that the respective structure was occupied by them since last 40 years as tenants of one Mr. Ambroce Creado and in evidence it annexed the Aadhar Cards, Electricity Bills, Property Tax Bills and the Ration Cards, the same was resisted by the petitioner.

the petitioners admitted, during the cross-examination that they are neither able to establish their rights over the said structures nor could they establish that the land underneath the structures was owned by Creado (their landlord). However, A suit against the Airport Authority as far as back as in March 2013, was withdrawn by Creado.

The bench comprising of single judge noticed that the evidence on record reveals that the airport premises is a part of larger land that was acquired in 1947under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 by the Airports Authority of India. Further, it was held by the Eviction officer that the petitioner in exercise of the powers under Section 28-D of the Act of 1994, were directed to vacate the Airport premises and the petitioner was occupying the part of Airport premises without authority.

The Single Judge contended that the eviction orders passed against the petitioners of being unauthorised occupants of Airport Premises, calls for no interference and further disposed off the application.

The order stated that in view of the acquisition that the possession of the larger plot, it absolutely vested in the State, petitioners could not have claimed tenancy through their landlord to justify their possession, in view of the aforested observation.

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