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HC directive on Bibah Bhawans

By LAW REPORTER
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GUWAHATI, Oct 17 � The Division Bench of the Gauhati High Court comprising Chief Justice (Acting) K Sreedhar Rao and Justice AK Goswami after hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL No. 73 of 2013) by a judgment and order passed on September 26, 2014 directed the Guwahati Municipal Corporation and Superintendent of Police (Traffic), Kamrup, Guwahati City to ensure that no Bibah Bhawan (Marriage Hall) is allowed to function unless the norms/rules laid down in the judgment are fulfilled or strictly adhered to by the Bibah Bhawans.

The court further directed the authorities to ensure that in the event of violation of any of the provisions of the rules/ regulations and directions by the management of the Bibah Bhawans, the same shall be viewed seriously and dealt with strictly by taking all such penal/regulatory/restrictive actions as permissible under the law, including sealing/closure of the Bibah Bhawan.

The PIL was filed by Dr Bishnu Prasad Das and other residents of Bharalumukh area of Guwahati alleging that the Haryana Charitable Trust (Haryana Bhawan) was letting out the Bhawan for hosting events like wedding, political meetings, religious functions, birthday parties etc., without having any valid trade licence from the GMC since April, 2012.

Debojit Saikia, Additional Advocate General, Assam has submitted that notices were issued to 62 Bibah Bhawans to furnish no objection certificate of the building, no objection certificate from SP (Traffic) and trade licence and after receipt of the responses, order under Section 337(A)(1) of GMC Act was issued on July 22, 2014 by the Commissioner in respect of some of the Bibah Bhawans who could not furnish the requisite documents.

The court after hearing the PIL and after going through all relevant provisions of law as well as the documents and considering the matter in its entirety disposed of the PIL by giving the direction that the Bibah Bhawans which do not have licences, shall not be allowed to carry on the trade. The Bibah Bhawans which do not have licence are, however, at liberty to apply to the GMC for grant of licence and it will be open for the GMC to issue them licence subject to compliance of law and applicable norms for running a Bibah Bhawan.

The court further directed that the Commissioner, GMC will issue notice under the GMC Act to all Bibah Bhawans which are still operating and running but do not fulfill the requirements of law and the norms, to show cause within a period of four weeks as to why those Bibah Bhawans shall be considered by the GMC in accordance with law after hearing the parties and a reasoned order will be passed on or before December 31, 2014 and action shall be taken on the basis of the determination made.

BD Konwar, Advocate appeared for the petitioners in the PIL.

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HC directive on Bibah Bhawans

GUWAHATI, Oct 17 � The Division Bench of the Gauhati High Court comprising Chief Justice (Acting) K Sreedhar Rao and Justice AK Goswami after hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL No. 73 of 2013) by a judgment and order passed on September 26, 2014 directed the Guwahati Municipal Corporation and Superintendent of Police (Traffic), Kamrup, Guwahati City to ensure that no Bibah Bhawan (Marriage Hall) is allowed to function unless the norms/rules laid down in the judgment are fulfilled or strictly adhered to by the Bibah Bhawans.

The court further directed the authorities to ensure that in the event of violation of any of the provisions of the rules/ regulations and directions by the management of the Bibah Bhawans, the same shall be viewed seriously and dealt with strictly by taking all such penal/regulatory/restrictive actions as permissible under the law, including sealing/closure of the Bibah Bhawan.

The PIL was filed by Dr Bishnu Prasad Das and other residents of Bharalumukh area of Guwahati alleging that the Haryana Charitable Trust (Haryana Bhawan) was letting out the Bhawan for hosting events like wedding, political meetings, religious functions, birthday parties etc., without having any valid trade licence from the GMC since April, 2012.

Debojit Saikia, Additional Advocate General, Assam has submitted that notices were issued to 62 Bibah Bhawans to furnish no objection certificate of the building, no objection certificate from SP (Traffic) and trade licence and after receipt of the responses, order under Section 337(A)(1) of GMC Act was issued on July 22, 2014 by the Commissioner in respect of some of the Bibah Bhawans who could not furnish the requisite documents.

The court after hearing the PIL and after going through all relevant provisions of law as well as the documents and considering the matter in its entirety disposed of the PIL by giving the direction that the Bibah Bhawans which do not have licences, shall not be allowed to carry on the trade. The Bibah Bhawans which do not have licence are, however, at liberty to apply to the GMC for grant of licence and it will be open for the GMC to issue them licence subject to compliance of law and applicable norms for running a Bibah Bhawan.

The court further directed that the Commissioner, GMC will issue notice under the GMC Act to all Bibah Bhawans which are still operating and running but do not fulfill the requirements of law and the norms, to show cause within a period of four weeks as to why those Bibah Bhawans shall be considered by the GMC in accordance with law after hearing the parties and a reasoned order will be passed on or before December 31, 2014 and action shall be taken on the basis of the determination made.

BD Konwar, Advocate appeared for the petitioners in the PIL.