High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh
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Rajinder Sofat v. PUDA & another - CWP-18075-2004  RD-P&H 5879 (24 August 2006)
IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB & HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH
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C.W.P NO. 18075 OF 2004
Date of decision : May 25, 2006
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Rajinder Sofat ............Petitioner
PUDA & another ...........Respondents
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CORAM: HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE VINEY MITTAL
HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE H.S BHALLA
Present: Mr. I.S Rangpuri, Advocate for the petitioner.
Mr. D.V Sharma, Advocate for the respondents.
Mr. M.C Berry, Sr. DAG, Haryana.
Mr. Sukant Gupta, Advocate.
Ms. Jaspal Kaur Gurna, Advocate.
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Viney Mittal, J. (Oral)
This order shall dispose of a batch of writ petitions as similar facts and identical controversies are involved in all the cases. For the sake C.W.P NO. 18075 OF 2004 ::2::
of convenience, the facts are borrowed from CWP No.18075 of 2004.
The facts which emerge from the record show that a residential Plot No.463, Phase 3A was allotted to the petitioner on June 26, 1971. As per condition no.1 of the allotment letter, the aforesaid allotment was subject to the provisions of Punjab Urban Estates (Development and Regulation) Act, 1964 and the rules framed therein. Transferee/allottee was required to complete the construction of the building within 3 years from the date of the issue of the allotment letter. In the year 1995, a new act was enacted called as Punjab Regional & Town Planning and Development Act,
1995. Under the provisions of the aforesaid Act, a statutory authority known as Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) was constituted. The aforesaid authority came into being w.e.f July 1, 1995.
The provisions of the 1964 Act ceased to operate after coming into force of the 1995 Act. After the enactment of the 1995 Act, Rules were also framed under the Act. PUDA issued certain executive instructions on December 6, 1996 and February 18, 1997 for charging the extension fee from the allottee/transferee who had failed to raise the construction. The aforesaid instructions came to be challenged by certain allottees before this Court. In the lead case i.e Tehal Singh Vs. State of Punjab and others in CWP C.W.P NO. 18075 OF 2004 ::3::
No.13648 of 1998 decided on May 4, 1999 it was held by this court that the aforesaid executive instructions could not provide for charging/levying of the extension fees. Thereafter, a notification dated October 8, 2001 was issued by PUDA whereby under the Rules, the aforesaid extension fees, enhancement was provided. The aforesaid notification also provided for levying/charging the aforesaid fee retrospectively. The aforesaid retrospectivity was challenged by the allottees again before this Court through various writ petitions, the lead case being Sant Kaur Jabbi Vs.
State of Punjab and others in CWP No.18986 of 2001 which was decided on October 31, 2002. A Division Bench of this Court held that the retrospectivity provided under the said notification dated October 8, 2001 was contrary to the Rules and without jurisdiction. Consequently, it was held that the PUDA had no power to charge the aforesaid enhanced extension fee prior to October 8, 2001, under the said notification.
It is in these circumstances, that the petitioner has approached this Court claiming that the enhanced extension fee charged for the period December 3, 1996 till October 7, 2001 is contrary to law and without jurisdiction. Consequently, a prayer has been made for issuance of directions to PUDA to refund the aforesaid charged fee. It has also been C.W.P NO. 18075 OF 2004 ::4::
prayed that as per Rule 13 of the Rules framed under the 1995 Act, a period of 3+5=8 would be available to an allottee to raise the construction. On that basis, it has been maintained that PUDA was not justified in charging any enhancement/extension fee for the period of 8 years from the date of allotment.
The stand taken by the petitioner has been contested by the respondents in their written statement. It has not been disputed that earlier in Tehal Singh's case (Supra) and later on in Sant Kaur Jabbi's case (Supra), this Court has held that the executive instructions issued on December 6, 1996 and February 18, 1997 were bad and the notification dated October 8, 2001 could not operate retrospectively. However, the respondents have maintained that the charging of extension fee/enhanced extension fee by PUDA authorities was justified and valid.
After hearing learned counsel for the parties and taking into consideration the divergent stand taken by them, we are satisfied that it is appropriate if the matter is examined afresh by the Estate Officer, PUDA, Mohali-respondent no.2, in the light of the judgement in Tehal Singh's case (Supra) and Sant Kaur Jabbi's case (Supra). We also feel appropriate that while re-examining the matter, various pleas raised by the C.W.P NO. 18075 OF 2004 ::5::
allottee/petitioner are also taken into consideration. For this purpose, the petitioner would be required to file a detailed and comprehensive representation before the Estate Officer, PUDA, Mohali within a period of 4 weeks from the date of receipt of a certified copy of this order. All the relevant documents and the judgements relied upon by the petitioner shall be annexed with the said representation. On receipt of the aforesaid representation, the Estate Officer-PUDA, Mohali-respondent no.2 shall take into consideration all the aforesaid pleas and after affording an opportunity of hearing to the petitioner or his counsel, shall pass a detailed speaking order. Till the matter is finally decided by the Estate Officer, no further recovery with regard to the enhanced/revised extension fee shall be made by the Estate Officer from the petitioner. If on such determination, it is found that certain amount is still due and chargeable from the petitioner, then a written communication shall be addressed to the petitioner informing him of the aforesaid fact and on receipt of the aforesaid communication, the petitioner shall be required to deposit the aforesaid outstanding dues within a period of 4 weeks from the date of the receipt of the communication.
However, if on such determination it is found that excess amount has been paid by the petitioner/allottee, then the said amount shall also be C.W.P NO. 18075 OF 2004 ::6::
refunded by the Estate Officer within a period of 4 weeks.
Copy of the order be given dasti on payment of the usual charges.
( VINEY MITTAL )
25.5.2006 ( H.S BHALLA )
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