November 09, 2018
In this recent case, the High Court of Himachal Pradesh has reiterated that right to water and electricity supply is an integral part of right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
Case name: Madan Lal v. State of Himachal Pradesh & ors.
In the case, the Petitioner had constructed a residential house on the impugned land which was owned by the State Government and accordingly the State had initiated eviction proceedings against the Petitioner. While the matter of eviction was sub judice, the Petitioner applied for the electricity and water connections, but both these amenities were denied on the ground that electricity and water connections could not be released as the petitioner had unauthorizedly occupied the Government land and raised illegal construction, without seeking prior approval of the authorities.
Hence the issue that fell for consideration before the High Court was whether the petitioner, as an interim measure, be allowed the basic amenities of water and electricity?
The Division Bench of the High Court of Himachal Pradesh remarked that that potable water or electricity are integral part of Right to Life within the meaning of Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
These are basic necessities for human being and can well be termed as essentials of human rights. Thus, the High Court was of the view that if the title dispute owing to prescription of right to appeal under the Statute remains pending for considerable long period, there was no reason to deny the Petitioner’s family the basic amenities of water and electricity, subject to their payment of requisite charges.
The Court additionally opined that if the petitioner fails to prove his right to retain the possession, both facilities will also go alongwith the residential house.
The entire case can be accessed here.