Criminal Trident Pack: IPC, CrPC and IEA by Sr. Adv. G.S Shukla and Adv. Raghav Arora
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  • In Sashibhusan Das vs Lord Lingaraj Mahaprabhu and anr. the Hon’ble Orissa HC has observed that an unlawful possession of property, which does not bestow any right, cannot be defended only on the ground that the legislation, which authorises eviction is prospective in operation. 
  • The instant writ petition was filed against the order of the Commissioner of Endowments, Orissa, Bhubaneshwar ( hereinafter called the Opposite Party No. 2 (OP 2)) on 18th March, 2009 under section 25 of the Orissa Hindu Religious Endowments Act, 1851 ( OHRE Act), on the ground that the impugned decision was bad in law for it treated his possession as unauthorised by applying a law which is prospective in nature. 
  • Section 25 of the OHRE Act states that if there has been an unauthorised possession of any immovable property belonging to or given or endowed for the purpose of any religious institution, the Commissioner may, after summary inquiry, require the Collector to deliver the possession of the same to the trustee of the institution or any person discharging the functions of the trustee. 
  • The Counsel for the petitioner contended that the eviction under section 25 of the OHRE Act could not have been initiated because the possession is much prior to the date of commencement of the amended Act, which is 2nd March, 1981. 
  • Relying upon the decision of the Orissa HC in Duryodhan Samal vs Uma Dei and ors (1985) the Counsel for the petitioner argued that the amended Act is prospective in nature and thus cannot be applied retrospectively considering that the possession of the petitioner precedes the date on which the amended Act came into force. 
  • It was also argued that the original tenant had the continued possession till the property reached the hands of the petitioner by way of a sale and purchase. Since the occupation had been continuous and with the permission of the Commissioner, the eviction could not be directed. 
  • The Court, while dismissing the writ petition, observed that the proceedings under section 25 of the OHRE Act before the Commissioner were maintainable and that the same could not be nullified merely on the ground that the amended Act could be applied only prospectively. 
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