Municipal Council, Ratlam vs Shri Vardhichand & Ors

In Supreme Court of India
1980 AIR 1622, 1981 SCR (1) 97
Municipal Council, Ratlam
Shri Vardhichand & Ors.
Date of Judgment
29 July, 1980
JusticeV.R. Krishna Iyer


For leading a quality life a clean and a healthy environment is indispensable. A person will remain healthy only if he is provided with fresh air to breathe, clean water to drink and other basic requirements. So in order to live a dignified and healthy life it is important for a person to be surrounded by a clean environment. Thus, the right of the people to live in a clean and healthy environment is a basic human right, fundamental to live a decent life, the violation of which will be considered a violation of basic right to life. This case issues the Ratlam municipality’s responsibilities to its citizenry below Section 123 M. P. Municipalities Act of 1961. These responsibilities encompass the availability of sanitary centers and also the prevention of road infection from a close-by alcohol plant. The citizens of the Ratlam municipality, stung at the shortage of sanitary centers and therefore the infection within side the streets, introduced in shape towards the municipality under Section 133 of the Criminal Procedure Code for Nuisance. The municipality argued that, 1) the citizens selected to remain wherein there are not any centers, and 2) the government lacked the finances essential to assemble what was required to comply.

Facts of the Case
Inhabitants of Ratlam metropolis located inside the territory of Madhya Pradesh had been the petitioners. Residents of Ratlam moved an application under S.133 of Cr.P.C. before the Sub-Divisional Magistrate in opposition to the Municipality declaring that the authorities have didn’t meet the basic duty of presenting the sanitary facilities on the roads, public conveniences for slum dwellers the utilization of the road and prevention of the discharge from the within sight Alcohol Plant of malodorous fluids into the overall public road that makes public nuisance to the petitioners of the case. The Sub Divisional Magistrate of Ratlam district directed the municipality to place together a right set-up plan inside 6 months of the objection prepare through the citizens of Ratlam metropolis. The commands through the Sub-Divisional Magistrate to the municipality had been affirmed through high court. Thereafter, the municipality came in attraction below the constant gaze of the apex courtroom docket of India and claimed that they don’t have suitable economic assist additionally to right finances to comply with the guidance given through the sub-divisional Justice of the Peace of Ratlam metropolis. From that factor forward, Supreme Court offers steering to the municipality to look at the commands given through the Sub-Divisional Justice of the Peace below Section 123 of Municipality Act, 1961 and stated that loss of finances is not a protection to perform the basic responsibilities performed through the nearby government of a particular region.

Legal Provisions Involved
1. Section 123, M.P. Municipalities Act, 1961
2. Section 133, Criminal Procedure Code, 1973
3. Section 188, Indian legal code, 1860

Issues Involved
Whether through affirmative movement a courtroom docket can compel a statutory frame to perform obligation within the direction of network to have a right sanitation facility at more fee and time certain basis?

Arguments from Petitioner
Municipal Council contended at the ground that the population of that locality has picked that location with their very own choice and owners of the residence absolutely aware of the unsanitary situations triumphing there. Thereby the proprietor of the homes precluding their proper to the grievance approximately the insanitary circumstance triumphing there. Municipal Council moreover argued that there has been obstacle of economic assets for the development of and provision of offerings to fulfill the commands given through the Sub Divisional Magistrate of Ratlam metropolis.

Arguments from Respondent
Respondents contended that the Municipality of Ratlam metropolis had overlooked to satisfy its responsibilities furnished through the sub-divisional Justice of the Peace to cope with public fitness which has through neglecting to lower pollutants and different dangerous waste from affecting their homes. Respondents focused to forestall pollutants introduced through runoff from a close-by alcohol plant, moderation of open waste that accrued in open swimming pools and inadequately tired areas, mitigation of malaria because of status water, and therefore the manufacturing of sanitary centers to stop the glide of excretory product into their neighboring areas.

Justice Krishna Iyer distinguished the provisions within the IPC and Criminal Procedure Code identifying with the law of nuisance and deciphered them within the current case.
Initially, the extent that the statutory obligation goes, the municipality cannot avoid its obligation disregarding its rule book/legislation which puts a positive obligation thereon.
Secondly, the court considered the aspect of common nuisance in contravention of Section 133 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
Section 133 to Section 143 of the Criminal Procedure Code is exclusive provisions that lay down procedural further as substantive law. They’re also called “summary remedies”. Section 133 sets out the authorities of Magistrate/Sub Div. Magistrate together with the method where a “conditional order” is given. as an example, one can truly constrain a police officer to take action which might be passed on to the magistrate who issues show-cause notice concerning the explanation asking the violator why the conditional order shouldn’t be passed. He must appear before the magistrate for the equivalent. This order is hence emptied (if compiled with) otherwise is made perpetual.
A public authority’s direction can not be defied and if not followed is punishable under section 188 of the IPC 1860. Section 188 of the IPC, mandates the satisfaction of the subsequent ingredients to constitute a violation,
It is likewise proved with the help of using the proof given with the help of using the candidates that occasionally the facility Alcohol manufacturing unit that’s located outdoor the premises of the Municipal Council and it flows its grimy and filthy water into the stated Nallah, because of this additionally the obnoxious scent is spreading within the course of the New Road or so it’s far the bounden obligation of the Municipal Council and also the Town Improvement Trust to try and do the desirable on this respect. The grimy water which flows from the toilets and urinals of the residential homes has no outlet and since of this reason, there are numerous pits at the southern aspect of the New Road and all of the pits are complete of grimy and stinking water. So, it is pretty vital to assemble an outlet for the grimy water with inside the stated locality. The Court held that the Municipal Council becomes obliged to require duty for the situations of new Road, which are located to be a public nuisance. This becomes the top results of a aggregate of legal guidelines: – The Municipal Council’s obligation as stipulated in section 123 M.P.M.A. – The authority of the Magistrate’s courtroom docket to form orders regarding public nuisances as distinctive in section 133 Cr.P.C. (with the danger of punitive enforcement in section 188 I.P.C.). The Municipal Council’s felony duties covered presenting ok public latrines, filling with inside the cesspools, preventing the float of effluent, and spraying capability malaria infestation. The Court rejected the Municipal Council’s argument that economic constraints prohibited it from obeying the Magistrate’s order. The Court held that the Municipal Council might want to not “run far from its important obligation with the help of using pleading economic lack of ability” which “decency and dignity” are “nonnegotiable aspects of human rights” which constituted a “first rate on neighborhood self-governing bodies.” The Court held that sanitized public locations should no longer get on the threat of a “self created bankruptcy” or a “perverted expenditure budget. The Court held that it had the authority to want the Municipal Council to undertake a specific scheme closer to assembly its duties below the order. Justification for “affirmative motion on a time-sure basis” become on the premise of the extreme circumstances, which include the sizeable loss of managing malaria concerns. Therefore the Court becomes obliged to act as greater than a mere “umpire” or “adjudicator.” The Court selected one in all the three schemes offered with the help of using professional engineers from each the Applicants and Respondents, which offered stability among realizing the Municipal Council’s statutory duties, and acknowledging its economic and time constraints. To additionally manipulate the economic needs of the orders, and according with the directive important of enhancing public fitness enshrined in Article forty seven of the Constitution, the Court directed the authorities of Madhya Pradesh to lend the vital finances to the Municipal Council.

Adding to the above dialogue courtroom docket additionally stated the Gobind Singh case which worried the Justice of the Peace directing the proprietor of the bakery to demolish his oven and chimney because it made a burden on the final public at big below the sizeable sections detected above. The Supreme Court eventually did now now not completely concur with the complete closure which could fold the baker’s trade (asking a baker to prevent trade), but trusted the discoveries of the Sub Divisional Justice of the Peace with inside the neighborhood inspection of the positioning. This becomes a extrude in role from the earlier precedents wherein the courtroom docket puzzled the “clinical proof” or the findings of the Justice of the Peace. Therefore the courtroom docket took an excellent thing from the judgment in Gobind Singh case and quoted it, “We are of the opinion that in a depend of this nature wherein what’s worried isn’t simply the correct of a non-public man or woman however the fitness, safety, and luxury of the overall public at big, the safer direction may be to easily accept the view of the discovered Magistrate, who noticed for himself the prospect thanks to the operating of the bakery.”The Municipality cannot declare economic lack of ability whilst it’s miles in command of retaining public fitness.

it’s visible that the judges have opted to be liberal in deciphering the ambit of social justice. Apparently, the traditional historical past become additionally in assist of the judgment as India had very lately confronted an emergency which become notably puzzled on its unjustness. The case reiterates the broad interpretation and also the role of the judges in reforming the laws of the country by prioritizing the freedom and dignity of the people. The judiciary has considered the human rights on one hand and also the environmental safety alternatively because the 2 faces of the identical coin. the selection proves that judiciary could be a protector of essential rights as during this situation it covered the right of each man or woman with regards to surroundings below Art. 21 of the Constitution. This judgment became a watch opener for the overall public-lively people and endorsed them to record petitions to clear up neighborhood environmental issues. This reformed the whole device and a few of instances were filed prior to exceptional courts in search of treatments towards environmental pollution. The content material of the case visible at the side of the Article 32 and 226 of the Constitution of India become to facilitate the emergence of PIL, having been framed or amended upon the tenets of social justice. Definitely the case become reasoned and justified with the help of using the Hon’ble judges of the Supreme Court of India.


Shubhi Shukla
“Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” I am Ms. Shubhi Shukla an ambitious girl whose aim in life is to hone my skills and widen my repertoire as far as possible. I am currently pursuing my Bachelor’s in Arts and Law [B.A.LL.B(Hons.)] from Faculty of Law, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. I didn’t enter this realm of law by my volition but I’m dead certain that I’ll make it my métier and my playground. Comprehending laws that governs societies, absorbing knowledge about every aspects about it and having rational thinking are of primary importance to me as a law student. I try not to talk too much but to walk the talk, I hope to learn with every new opportunity and contribute for others as well.