Canteen and office of association of Naval members sealed off without explanation
All India Naval Technical Supervisory vs. Naval Dockyard & Ors [Original Application No. 775/2016], Central Administrative Tribunal, Mumbai Synopsis: This Application sought to challenge the naval authorities decision to shut down the canteen run by the Association for its members and disconnect the internet being provided to the office of the Association situated within the Naval Dockyard Premises and further sealed their office without notice. Description:
- The applicants have a superstructure of the Zonal Canteen consists of Ground plus two floors. The ground floor has the office, the first floor is worker’s canteen and the second floor is the Supervisor’s canteen.
- The canteen run by the applicant for the benefits of its members was ordered to be shut down. Soon thereafter the internet connection to the office was cut without any notice.
- The eviction of the Applicant’s Association was without proper hearing or opportunity to present its case.
- In the light of these facts the court was pleased to pass an interim order where the eviction notice for applicant’s property was stayed and also a direction to open the office premises was passed with status quo restored.
- The court refused to accept that respondent’s notice of eviction is at all an eviction notice under the Eviction of unauthorised Occupants from Public premises Act, 1971.
- The court observed that the authorities which issued the notice of Eviction has gone further from the stage of notice inasmuch as the Estate Officer had already taken action without following due process of law and sealed the premises under the orders of the competent authority.
- The arbitrary and illegal action of the respondents in sealing the office premises of the Association, shutting down the canteen and disconnecting the internet connection very much come within the purview of the grievances in relation to the service matters of the officers/supervisors of the department who are members of the Association.
- Right to form Association to act lawfully for the members of the Association in taking various steps including collective bargaining power with the authorities are fundamental rights of the members of the Association under Article 19 of the Constitution of India.
- The actions of the respondents including sealing the office premises which is in use by the applicant Association for more than 2 decades without following due process of law violates fundamental rights of the members of the Association as enshrined under Article 14, 16, 19, and 21 of the Constitution of India.