The environment plays a vital role in the health and well-being of the citizens of the nation so systematic and regulated policies should be framed and implemented by the government so that the citizens should not face any kind of trouble in their health. The environment is a crucial part of human life and shattering or demolishing its beautiful site will bring down the quality of life of the people as well as the countless species that exist in the environment. It is important to take proper care and due diligence to protect the environment which has been given to us by nature. But with growing time, modernization, and increasing population the demand for new houses arose leading to deforestation in the specified and prohibited areas of the city or UT. This case also arose before the court when there was a modification by the Chandigarh authority to build houses in restricted or prohibited areas of the UT. The commentary is an explanation in which a serious and severe issue of the environment was raised before the honourable court. The case comment will elaborate on the introduction of the case, brief elaboration on the history of the case, the issue raised by both sides, judgment of the case, and analysis of the case for a better understanding of the readers. The commentary will try to discuss every matter in the best way possible so that it can help the readers to understand the case from the rudimentary form so that there is complete clearance of the facts and judgment of the case. 


Apartmentalization, Rules, Act, Sites, Buildings, Single, Dwelling 


A petition was filed in the High Court at Chandigarh by the Appellant association regarding the amalgamation and fragmentation of land and the division of land into apartments and the selling of the same apartments to individuals into single dwelling units was discriminatory in nature as it transgresses the laws and decrees mentioned under the. The negative effects of haphazard urbanization on the environment were another significant factor that was taken into account. The Supreme Court taking into consideration these two major factors opined its judgment in favour of the appellant in 2023 and overturned the decision given by Punjab and Haryana High Court at Chandigarh. 

The issue here regarding the enacted legislation and amendments carried out by the legislation which sometimes prohibits fragmentation of land (as in and) and occasionally allowed fragmentation of land (as in Chandigarh Apartment Rules, 2001 and Chandigarh Building Rules, 2017) was prohibited or not. The second concern was regarding the decrease in the greenery area of Sector I of Chandigarh and the environmental effect that it would have on the lives of the people residing there. The case is important from the view that Chandigarh is regarded as the most planned and organized city in the world because it has a significant amount of open land, social amenities, public infrastructure, and living units. Therefore, revamping its beauty would lead to a catastrophic effect on the environment. 

This remark will discuss the case in detail, taking into account all the relevant facts, arguments, and counterarguments. We shall examine every environmental, social, and scientific element of the “RESIDENT WELFARE ASSOCIATION CHANDIGARH  V UNION TERRITORY OF CHANDIGARH” of India case as it is a significant environmental law case. There will also be an examination of the Supreme Court’s ruling. This comment’s primary objective is to analyze the situation objectively and provide a vision for a legal course of action on environmental problems.


In March 1948, after India’s 1947 declaration of independence, the legislature of Punjab accepted the location for the new state capital after consulting with the Government of India.   Together with several architects, including Pierre Jeanneret, Jane B. Drew, and Maxwell Fry, French architect Le Corbusier created the new city. Sectors 1 to 30 and Sectors 31 to 47 make up Phase I and Phase II of Chandigarh’s development, respectively. Phase I was planned as a low-rise development for a total population of 1,50,000 whereas Phase II sectors were expected to contain a lot more people per square mile than Phase I sectors. The was passed by the Union of India in 1952 to control Chandigarh’s urban growth. The (hence referred to as “the 1960 Rules”) was created by the Government of Punjab in 1960 using the authority granted.  The forbids the division or fusion of any site or structure. The (hence referred to as “the 2001 Rules”) was created in 2001 by the UT of Chandigarh, in the execution of the powers granted under.  The 2001 Rules allowed for subdividing into many apartments even in the case of single residential units. The development of flats was fiercely opposed by the residents of Chandigarh’s UT, who believed it would ruin the city’s unique identity. A notice issued on October 1st, 2007 abolished the 2001 Rules in response to public uproar.  The 1960 Rules were also abolished in the same year, 2007. The Chandigarh Apartment Rules, 2007, were drafted in November 2007 by the UT of Chandigarh Administrator by the authority granted by. Fragmentation or fusion of any site or structure was once again forbidden.

“The High” Court determined that neither the 1952 Act nor the Rules created by it included any provisions that would have controlled the transfer of shares concerning a location or structure, regardless of whether it was owned alone or in joint ownership.  The Court ruled that contrary to popular belief, the selling of shares by allottees or transferees of a building or site was not illegal but rather permitted under general civil law.  Furthermore, it was decided that joint ownership of the building or site would remain even after the sale of the share. Additionally, it was said that a permanent severance must exist for fragmentation to exist.  Fragmentation would not occur simply by building three levels on private property and using them as separate dwellings.  It was determined that departmentalization wouldn’t start until the building had been properly divided, accepted by the estate officer, and had a fair distribution of common areas and utilities.

The same case arose before High Court at Chandigarh in the matter of, the High Court of Punjab & Haryana considered a challenge to the legality of.  In its ruling in the aforementioned case, the Court declared the aforementioned to violate the Indian Constitution. In contrast, this Court overturned the High Court’s ruling and others to the degree that it deemed to be unconstitutional.

The judgment given by the High Court was overturned by the Supreme Court giving the environmental issue and misuse of Statutory Provisions regarding the apartmentislation was illegal and apartmentisaltion would lead to an adverse effect on the environment as other urban cities are facing. The Supreme Court also expressed its opinion using Bengaluru as an example, saying that the city’s reputation as one of India’s best and a “Garden city” had been destroyed by chaotic urban expansion.  



1- The appellant’s initial argument was that permitting the development of any apartment on just one residential unit would damage the city’s original identity. The city has been provisionally added to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization’s list of World Heritage Sites due to its exceptional universal importance. This list has to be kept up by prohibiting haphazard construction that will take away from the city’s distinctive identity.

2- The appellant claimed that although apartmentalization was authorized under the 2001 Rules due to public outcry, those rules were revoked in 2007 and are no longer in effect. He further argued that both the 1960 and 2007 guidelines expressly forbade the division or merger of any land or structure. 

3- He suggested that bungalows located in residential neighbourhoods in Phase I have a green area in the front and backyard of the house. The aim of creating a green metropolis has been defeated, however, as a result of apartheid, as the formerly green areas have now been replaced with concrete. 

4- He said that reckless growth is being approved while metropolitan areas are growing without taking the environment’s effects into account. He further argues that such projects are allowed and that no research has been done to determine whether the essential infrastructure, such as roads, water, and sewage, already exists or not. 

5- At last he submitted that an effective environmental management plan, including an environmental strategy, regulations for monitoring, building institutional capacity, and financial incentives, has been recommended for the entire region, including Chandigarh, in the CMP­2031.   It is said that the Chandigarh Administration is allowing the conversion of single-family homes into flats even if the CMP-2031 makes such a proposal.   He argued that this is an appropriate instance in which this Court should exercise its authority under an order that an Environmental Impact Assessment, or “EIA,” be required to be completed before approving the expansion of urban areas.


1- To guarantee that the city maintains its existing nature and its sustainability is unaffected, it is suggested that the CMP­2031 appropriately address environmental concerns. 

2- The famous Senior Counsel said that every consideration had been made by the Expert Committee formed for the CMP 2031 preparation. He claimed that the CMP 2031 would demonstrate that Phase I (Sectors 1 to 30) had a keeping potential of 34 people per acre, as opposed to the current population density of just 26 people per acre. It is thus suggested that the CMP2031 reveals that there was space for additional units in Phase I. Nothing, according to him, could stop such a development if the CMP2031, the result of a careful examination by the subject-matter specialists, is in favour of it.

3- The respondent contends that if the appellants’ appeal is upheld, an unusual circumstance would develop since co-owners who are members of a single household would be granted the right to build three flats but not others. This might result in a situation where certain co-owners are more valuable than others.

4- In a nutshell, the respondent argued that because the 2001 Rules do not permit the construction of dwelling units that are identical to apartments, it is acceptable for multiple people to work together to build and inhabit different areas of a structure by their respective shares. It is said that the appellants would not be able to assert that the building of a three-story structure with three separate apartments is illegal under the law if the Guidelines and Regulations permitting three storeys are not contested. It is claimed that the CMP 2031 has considered all factors and hasn’t been challenged. 


In this instance, the honourable Supreme Court rendered a significant ruling. The court thought that certain measures should be taken to preserve harmony between environmental preservation and industrial growth after hearing the views of both the petitioner and respondent.

According to that interpretation of the situation, we maintain that the repeal of the all prohibits the apartmentalization, separation, division, and segmentation of dwellings in Phase I of Chandigarh. 

(i) The Heritage Committee would evaluate its suggestions that Chandigarh’s northern districts, “(Corbusian Chandigarh)” should be preserved in their current state; and 

(ii) The redensification issue in Chandigarh’s Phase I would be taken into consideration by the Heritage Committee. 

(iii) The Heritage Committee would also assess how such redensification might affect parking and transportation problems. 

(iv) The Chandigarh Administration will consider the suggestions of the Heritage Committee while modifying the CMP-2031 and the 2017 Rules insofar as they pertain to Phase I.

 (v) These adjustments must be submitted to the Central Government, which will determine whether to approve them while keeping in mind the need to preserve the Le Corbusier zone’s cultural status; 

(vi) Until the Central Government makes a definitive decision in the manner aforementioned:

a. Any MoU, a contract, or arrangement between joint owners of a dwelling forbids the partitioning of a single dwelling unit into flats on different floors. 

b. The Chandigarh Administration will not approve any development plans that, on the surface, appear to be an attempt to split up a single residence into three separate units, each of which would be occupied by a different foreigner. 

(vii) In addition, we direct Chandigarh Administration and the Central government to FAR should be stopped from rising higher. 

(viii) We also instruct the Heritage Committee to keep in mind the necessity to maintain Phase I’s heritage status by limiting the total number of floors to three with a consistent highest possible height. 

(ix) The Chandigarh Administration must first engage the Heritage Committee before formulating any regulations or bylaws.

The moment has come for the federal government, state governments, and the legislative and executive branches to acknowledge the damage that haphazard growth has already done to the environment and take the necessary steps to stop it from getting worse. Before permitting the urban expansion, the court underlined the need to achieve an “adequate equilibrium in safeguarding the environment and equitable growth” and encouraged the appropriate government organizations to create the necessary regulations for performing environmental impact evaluations. In this regard, we trust that the Central and the State governments would both make significant efforts.


This remark is all about the significant ruling that was rendered in this matter. The case of the Resident Welfare Association v. Union Territory of Chandigarh is significant because key authorities and processes were established in the judgment. Through this precedent-setting case, the connection between the business of land and the environment has been highlighted. The nexus between the environment and the fragmentation of land has been brought into the limelight in this landmark case. The case highlights how the Apex court used its knowledge in carrying a fair settlement in both conditions and sees that neither of the parties is hurt by the decisions. 

The court’s findings in the case of Kohinoor CTNL Infrastructure Company Private Limited and Others v. Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai and Others are particularly instructive in this respect.   In the aforementioned case, this Court made the following ruling addressing the effects of urban overpopulation:

For youngsters and older individuals, the situation will be exceedingly dangerous when cities are congested, roads are small, and traffic is rising. There won’t be any vegetation within the structures, and people will constantly want clean, fresh air. The lack of greenery in the buildings will contribute to the metropolitan regions’ and cities’ ever-rising temperatures. To put it another way, any buildings without sufficient green space and leisure spaces would have a negative influence on both the environment and human life.

There is a positive aspect which shows that apartmentilzation is allowed as it is mentioned under the (also known as “the 2017 Rules”), which were passed under the authority granted by the 1952 Act, would also demonstrate that it is legal to build many apartments on a single residential unit. A “dwelling building” is described as “a building used, constructed, or designed to be utilized solely or mainly for residential dwelling that encompasses all basements or other out­buildings associated thereto.” ” under.  A “dwelling unit” is described as “a house or a part thereof utilized or meant to be utilized by someone or their household for housing, consisting of the kitchen area, bathroom, and bedrooms”. According to the definition given in the statute, a storey is “any longitudinal partition of the structure so built as to be useful as a dwelling structure, however, such longitudinal partition cannot stretch over the entire length or breadth of that structure but cannot encompass 23 mezzanine floors”.. The of that document refers to “residential use,” which covers all the specifics about the building’s maximum height, maximum size, minimum area, and courtyards. 

But the point that we can consider as a counter-statement against this is the environmental and social impact that it can bring to Corbusian Chandigarh (Sector I). The Union Territory was planned in such a way that it encompasses every quality that an international-level city possesses. Therefore, revamping its structure could lead to an adverse effect on the goal for which it was built. 


We have examined every facet of the ruling that was rendered in the Chandigarh Union Territory v. Resident Welfare Association case. The case arose when the Chandigarh High Court of Punjab and Haryana ruled in favour of the Chandigarh Administration, prohibiting floor-by-floor sales of the property, turning a house into apartments, and permitting the erection of three different floors on a personal field and the use of those surfaces as independent units despite the prohibition on selling a specific portion or part of a building. The High Court argues that fragmentation only occurs when a structure or site is split by meters and boundaries, which is unlawful. 

The Supreme Court pointed out that examples of cities such as Brasilia and the white city of Tel Aviv were built on the concept of “How to conceive urbanism keeping in mind the environmental effects on the society. We discover that for the protection of Le Corbusier’s Chandigarh heritage designation, identical actions must be made by the appropriate authorities. 

The Directive Principles included in Article 51A (f) (g) of the Indian Constitution may also be cited in this regard.

Article 49- Preservation of National Important Monuments, Sites, and Artifacts

Any monument, place, or thing of aesthetic or historic interest that has been designated as being of national importance by or according to legislation approved by Parliament shall be safeguarded by the State from Alternate terms for spoliation including deformity, annihilation deletion, elimination, and sale.

Article 51- Every Indian citizen has a responsibility to: 

f) cherish and maintain the rich history of our composite culture; 

g) Have sympathy for all living things, and preserve and promote the natural environment, particularly the forests, water bodies, and wildlife.

A combined interpretation of the aforementioned laws would show that both the State and the public must preserve and safeguard the legacy that is enshrined in the Constitution. It is the responsibility of both parties to put an effort into this field and build a better environment for the coming generation. 

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