The Bombay High Court held that as per Section 8(1) of the Bombay Nursing Home Registration Act, 1949, a show-cause notice of at least one month was required to be given before cancelling the registration of a nursing home.

Finding that no such notice as required under Section 1(8) of the Act 1949 was given to the petitioner before canceling the registration and permanent sealing of the hospital in the case, the High Court ruled that the hospital being an immovable property could not have been sealed under any provision of the CrPC.

While noting that there is no reference made to any provision of law under which the action of sealing has been taken by a local supervisory authority like the Corporation, the Division Bench comprising of Justice Sunil B. Shukre and Justice Rajesh S. Patil observed that “we could not come across any provision of law made in the Act 1949 empowering the supervisory authority to permanently seal any hospital registered under the provisions of the Act, 1949, nor learned counsel for the Corporation could show to us the existence of any such provision of law”.

Senior Advocate Aabad Ponda appeared for the Petitioner, whereas Advocate Anoop Patil appeared for the Respondent.

In this case, the petitioner filed a petition challenging the cancellation of the registration of his hospital and its permanent sealing by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. Even before the expiry of the certificate of registration, owing to some criminal cases registered against the petitioner, a drastic decision was taken by the respondent corporation to permanently seal the hospital of the petitioner and cancel its registration granted under Section 5 of the Act of 1949.

The counsel for the petitioner argued that the Corporation's action was arbitrary and illegal as no show-cause notice was issued to the petitioner as required under Section 8(1) of the Act of 1949 and no opportunity of hearing as required under the law, was issued and given to the petitioner.

Opposing the same, the counsel for the respondent argued that since several criminal cases were registered against the petitioner and allegations against the petitioner were serious, it was thought by the Corporation that the larger public interest would stand served if the hospital was permanently sealed and its registration was cancelled.

The Bench while perusing Section 8 of the Act of 1949, stated that before any order refusing registration of the hospital or cancelling registration of the hospital is passed, a show-cause notice giving time of not less than one calendar month is required to be given to the owner or the proprietor of the hospital or the applicant.

The Bench also clarified that such show-cause notice must make clear the intention of the supervisory authority to either refuse the registration or cancel the registration by giving the grounds on which the authority intends to make such an order.

Therefore, the High Court allowed the petitioner's writ petition, quashing the cancellation of registration order and directing the permanent seal on the hospital to be removed immediately.

However, the petitioner was directed to obtain a renewal of registration as per law before restarting operations.

Cause Title: Dr. Shivraj Chhotulal Pataria v. Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and Ors.

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