Understand law to pass orders correctly: HC advises district collector
Under the guise of removing obstruction and nuisance on public roads, the Thiruvananthapuram District Collector in his capacity as district magistrate cannot invoke the law to shut down a business, the High Court ruled.
The Collector had observed that traffic obstruction on the road connecting the busy Bakery junction to the Van Rose junction for hours was because of uncontrolled parking in front of a vegetarian restaurant. The Collector then directed the owner of the restaurant to stop functioning with immediate effect until further orders and a show cause why the order shall not be made absolute.
The owner of the restaurant Sajina challenged the order as illegal, contrary to the provisions of the criminal procedure code by which the Collector exercised powers in his capacity as District magistrate.
The High Court struck down the Collector's order and observed that in an area affected by traffic problems due to uncontrolled parking on a building premises, Section 133 (1) (a) etc cannot be invoked. The Collector can invoke that section only if the conduct of any trade or occupation or the keeping of any goods is injurious to the health or physical comfort to any community.
The Court reminded the Collector that under the guise of removing obstruction or nuisance on a public road, he cannot shut down a business. It is the duty of the traffic police to deal with uncontrolled parking and find out a solution. So the order passed by the Collector was without authority.