A building known as Katras House in Jharkhand's capital Ranchi taken over by the government 64 years ago for military purpose, when the World War II broke out, would now be handed over to its owners following a Supreme Court directive.
A Bench of Justices Dalveer Bhandari and H S Bedi directed the current tenant Jhansi Women College, a private educational institute which is housing its hostel in the dilapidated structure, to vacate the premises within two months, failing which they asked authorities to evict the occupants.
The apex court passed the direction while allowing the appeal filed by the owners and estate management firm Roy Estate seeking possession of the building, which, it said, could collapse any moment endangering lives of the inmates.
The SC's decision had come after a 14-year struggle by the owners to get possession of the disputed building spread over an area of 1.7 acre of land on Circular Road, Ranchi.
The building was initially owned by late Ganesh Chandra Dey who purchased the same by a registered sale deed dated January 26, 1933. It was requisitioned after the World War II broke out to house part of the Indian Army's Eastern Command.
World War-II broke out on September 3, 1939 upon which the then Viceroy promulgated the Defence of India Ordinance 1939 empowering the Central Government to take over any property necessary for securing the defence of British India and other related matters.