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Supreme Court relief to Fortis Escorts over land eviction case

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New Delhi: After 15 long years, Fortis Healthcare Ltd’s subsidiary Escort Heart Institute & Research Centre Ltd.(EHIRCL) has got slight relief as the Supreme Court recently passed an order quashing the eviction proceedings of EHIRCL from its premises in Delhi’s Okhla.

“This is to inform you that the Hon’ble Supreme court of India has today passed a judgement in favour of one of the wholly-owned subsidiaries of the Company viz. Escort Heart Institute & Research Centre Limited (EHIRCL),” the company in its filing with the exchanges informed adding that the copy of the judgement passed today is awaited.

Fortis Escorts Okhla has been one of the flagship hospitals of the Fortis Group. The genesis of the case goes back to the year 2005 when the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) terminated the leases executed in favour of EHIRCL with respect to its Hospital at Okhla, Delhi by their letter dated 06.10.2005.

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EHIRCL had approached the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi seeking declaration that the notice of termination is bad in law. However, on 09.11.2005, DDA commenced proceedings for eviction of EHIRCL under the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupant) Act, 1971. The said notice of commencement was challenged by EHIRCL by way of a writ petition under article 226 of the Constitution of India filed before the Delhi High Court. The writ petition was dismissed by the Single Judge of the High Court by order dated 03.04.2006.

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Thereafter, EHIRCL filed a Letters Patent Appeal before a two-judge bench of the High Court of Delhi which was also dismissed by order dated  3.09.2007. The writ petition and the appeal were filed on the premise that the Estate Officer has no jurisdiction to invoke proceedings under the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupant) Act, 1971. Against the said order of 03.09.2007, EHIRCL filed a Special Leave Petition under Article 136 of the Constitution of India.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court granted leave to appeal. Earlier this week, the matter was taken up for final hearing and post detailed arguments, the Hon’ble Court allowed the appeal and quashed the proceedings for eviction of EHIRCL from its Hospital premises at Okhla, Delhi.

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