Delhi HC strikes down cancellation of lease of hospital

The Delhi High Court struck down the cancellation of the lease deed and vacation of the property of a charitable hospital and research institute in west Delhi.

Refusing to turn a blind eye on justice being bulldozed in broad daylight, it said it is a travesty of justice that an institution contributing to a noble cause that of running a charitable hospital on public land and providing sound research and treatment facilities has been made to suffer cancellation of the lease deed and vacation of the property.

“Law, which should be an instrument for ensuring welfare, is being reduced to a tool of atrocity in the instant case. Being a constitutional court and the conscience-keeper of democracy, this court cannot turn a blind eye when the ends of justice are being bulldozed in broad daylight,” Justice Chandra Dhari Singh said.

He said the institution is imparting the state’s welfare functions and undue harassment being caused to it will lead to an anathema of the rule of law.

The court was hearing an appeal by Khosla Medical Institute, a society which had set up a medical research centre and hospital in Shalimar Bagh, challenging a trial court judgment upholding the 1995 order of Delhi Development Authority cancelling its lease deed and directing to vacate the property and hand over the possession.

The authorities had cancelled the lease deed after holding that the institute had transferred the property to third parties by inducting them as new members in it and had violated the terms of the lease deed. The court slammed them for acting on an advertisement. A mere advertisement did not imply that a sale was concluded by the institute and even the affidavit of the property agent was not verified at the time of examination of evidence, it said.

The high court allowed the institute’s appeal against the trial court’s verdict and against the authorities’ decision to cancel the lease deed, saying, “The order dated December 7, 1995, terminating the lease deed of the appellant institute is also set aside, since the finding of the concerned authority was not supported or substantiated by any conclusive document.” It said in the absence of evidence substantiating that the terms of the lease deed were violated, the basis for cancellation did not survive.

The high court said the trial court also failed to consider that there was no conclusive evidence or document on record to establish that the title and ownership of the institute were transferred to a third party since there was neither any conveyance deed, title deed or any other document to show that the property, land or the institute was transferred.

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