Mumbai: In a setback to the family of an army man, who sustained injuries in the Indo-Pak war of 1965, the Bombay High Court recently refused to allow expansion of their fast food stall situated near the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) station. The HC also refrained from imposing heavy costs on the family for filing a 'frivolous' plea.
A bench of Justices Shahrukh Kathawalla and Burgess Colabawalla refused any relief to the family as they approached the court after a delay of over a decade.
The bench was dealing with a plea filed by Israkul Khan, a legal heir of Dhait Khan, who had sustained injuries in the 1965 conflict between India and Pakistan.
In her plea, Israkul sought expansion of her fast-food stall claiming that a similar expansion was allowed for another such stall by the authorities. She accordingly sought a similar treatment.
The stall measuring 3 meters x 2 meters was allotted to the Khan family in 1973 and now they want to expand it to 8 meters x 3.16 meters.
However, the authorities refused to allow expansion of her stall claiming that her stall comes under the licencing department while the one, which she has questioned, comes under the maintenance department.
Aggrieved by this 'unequal' treatment, Israkul petitioned the bench led by Justice Kathawalla seeking expansion of her stall.
Having considered the material on record, Justice Kathawalla said, “The relief sought cannot be granted for more than one reason. Firstly, the family was allotted their stall in June 1973 and they have approached this court in the year 2017.”
“We find that the family approached this court seeking relief after a considerable amount of delay. Therefore, on the ground of delay and laches alone, their petition is liable to be dismissed.
Thus, considering the 'inordinate delay' in filing the petition, we do not think that justice lies on the side of the Khan family,” Justice Kathawalla said.
The bench accordingly termed the petition to be a frivolous one. “In a case like this, normally we would have been justified in awarding heavy costs against the Khan family for filing such a frivolous petition.
However, considering that they are the legal heirs of an ex-Indian army officer who was injured during the India-Pakistan conflict in the year 1965, we refrain from doing so,” Justice Kathawalla said.