High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh
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Jindal Combines v. Haryana State & Ors - LPA-178-2003  RD-P&H 609 (7 February 2006)
Jindal Combines V. Haryana State and others Present: Mr. Vinod S. Bhardwaj, Advocate, for the petitioner.
Mr. Kamal Sehgal, Advocate, for respondent-HSIDC..
The present Letters Patent Appeal has been filed by the appellant, M/s. Jindal Combines Private Limited ( hereinafter referred to as the "appellant-Company") against the judgment dated January 24,2003 passed by the learned Single Judge. As a matter of fact, the challenge in the present appeal against the judgment of the learned Single Judge is only to a limited extent inasmuch as directions had been issued by the learned Single Judge while allowing the writ petition filed by the appellant- Company to allot plot No.247 at Phase IV, Udyog Vihar, Gurgaon at the rate of Rs.3000/- per square meter. The appellant in the present appeal has merely challenge the aforesaid price of Rs.3,000/-,while accepting the judgment of the learned Single Judge with regard to the allotment of plot in question.
Certain relevant facts may be noticed as follows: Plot No.109 in Phase I, Udyog Vihar Gurgaon was allotted on Letters Patent Appeal No.178 of 2003 2
October 5,1981 by Haryana State Industrial Development Corporation Limited ( hereinafter referred to as the "HSIDC" ) at the rate of Rs.34.39 per square metre to the appellant-Company. Although, the record shows that symbolic possession of the aforesaid plot was delivered to the appellant- Company on April 1,1982 but when the appellant-Company wanted to raise the construction thereof and take the actual possession on November 26,1982, it found that there existed a cremation ground in the aforesaid plot along with two other plots. An application was, accordingly, made by the appellant-Company to HSIDC. HSIDC thereupon took up the matter with Haryana Urban Development Authority for shifting the aforesaid cremation ground. The efforts made by the HSIDC and HUDA did not bear any fruit.
Consequently, the appellant-company was not able to raise any construction on the same. Strangely enough in October,1983, a show cause notice was issued by HSIDC to the appellant-Company for showing cause against the resumption of the said plot for not raising any construction within the stipulated period. The aforesaid show cause notice was duly replied by the appellant-company on November 8,1983. It was detailed out that full amount of the plot had been paid by the appellant-company but neither the possession could be delivered by the Corporation nor the cremation ground Letters Patent Appeal No.178 of 2003 3
had been shifted. The appellant-Company even approached the civil court through a civil suit for mandatory injunction. The possession of the said plot was claimed. The said civil suit was also decreed on September 5,1988.
Nothing happened even after the aforesaid decree. On March 18,1993, HSIDC asked the appellant-Company for more time to offer an alternative plot. Several meetings also took placed between HSIDC, appellant and the villagers for shifting the cremation ground. Although the actual physical possession of the plot was not delivered to the appellant-company and there was a dispute with regard to the cremation ground, in July,1994 HSIDC wanted the appellant-Company to pay enhanced price. In September,1994 even the enhanced price was deposited by the appellant-Company.
Ultimately finding itself in a tight spot, the appellant-Company filed Civil Writ Petition No.12418 of 1994 before this Court. A direction was sought against HSIDC to deliver the vacant possession of the aforesaid plot No.109. On July 26,1995, a statement was made on behalf of HSIDC that vacant possession of the said plot would be given to the appellant- Company within six months. Consequently, the writ petition filed by the appellant-Company was disposed of as infructuous.
Thereafter on August 30,1995, the appellant-Company filed a Letters Patent Appeal No.178 of 2003 4
representation to HSIDC along with copy of the order passed by this Court.
However, HSIDC addressed letter dated December 15,1995 to the appellant- Company stating that it was proceeding to allot an alternative plot as it was facing stiff resistance from the villagers with regard to the shifting of the cremation ground. The appellant-company consequently had to approach this court through a contempt petition being COCP No.151 of 1996. In contempt proceedings, an offer was made by the HSIDC that an alternative plot being plot No.239, Phase IV, Udyog Vihar, Gurgaon measuring 5165.73 sq. mts. would be allotted to the appellant-Company at the rate of Rs. 53/- per sq. metre. The aforesaid offer was accepted by the appellant- Company. However, on April 5,1996, when the appellant-Company went to take the possession of the aforesaid plot, it was found that even said plot No.239 was in possession of one Parma Nand and his family and there was a litigation with regard to the said plot. It was also disclosed by the aforesaid persons that an order for maintenance of status-quo had been issued by this court.
At that stage HSIDC again contacted the appellant-Company stating that the aforesaid alternative plot was under litigation. It was, accordingly, communicated that the appellant-company could either wait the Letters Patent Appeal No.178 of 2003 5
outcome of litigation for allotment of plot No.239,Phase IV or take an alternative plot in Phase VI. The said offer was not accepted by the appellant-Company. It requested the HSIDC to allot a plot in Phase IV itself. Faced with the aforesaid difficulty, HSIDC approached this Court through a review petition for recalling the order dated July 26,1995 and for revival of the writ petition. On the facts as stated above, order dated July 26,1995 was recalled and the writ petition filed by the appellant-Company being CWP No.12418 of 1994 was revived to be decided on merits.
After the revival of the said writ petition, Civil Miscellaneous Application No.1318 of 2000 was filed by the appellant-Company for reserving one plot for allotment to the appellant-Company, in the event of the success of the writ petition. Consequently, an order dated February 22,2000 was passed by the learned Single Judge ordering that one plot bearing No.247 in Phase IV be got reserved for allotment to the appellant- Company in the event of the success of the writ petition.
Subsequently, the writ petition filed by the appellant-Company along with another writ petition being C.W.P. No.12890 of 1996 ( S.L.Chopra V. State of Haryana and others) was heard by the learned Single Judge. It transpires from the record that S.L.Chopra was originally Letters Patent Appeal No.178 of 2003 6
allotted plot No.109 on December 4,1979. Because of the existence of the cremation ground, the possession of the said plot was never handed over to S.L.Chopra. It also appears that at some stage, the said plot was resumed and consequently, the same was allotted to the appellant-Company through the allotment letter dated October 5,1981. In these circumstances, because of the right claimed by both the persons on the aforesaid plot No.109 and in any case, the said plot being basis of the cause of action for both the writ petitioners, i.e. S.L.Chopra and the appellant-Company, the two writ petitions were ordered to be heard together.
The learned Single Juge, noticed that plot No.247, in Phase IV had been ordered to be kept reserved for allotment to M/s. Jindal Combines, appellant-Company through an interim order passed in the writ petition filed by the appellant-Company. Accordingly, the aforesaid plot was ordered to be allotted to the appellant-Company at the price of Rs.3000/- per sq. metre.
Similarly, in the writ petition filed by S.L. Chopra directions were given to HSIDC to allot a plot measuring 5348.70 sq. mtrs out of the land falling in the scheme of Udyog Vihar Phase -I at the said rate of Rs.3000/- per sq.
metre. It was further directed by the learned Single Judge that the fresh allotment letter be issued in favour of both the writ petitioners within 15 Letters Patent Appeal No.178 of 2003 7
days from the date of the judgment and the amount deposited by the writ petitioners would be adjusted towards the payment of the price. It as further directed that HSIDC would not be liable to pay any interest on the amount so deposited by the writ petitioners.
At this stage, we may notice that HSIDC has accepted the judgment of the learned Single Judge inasmuch as in both the cases it has chosen not to file any Letters Patent Appeal. Similarly S.L.Chopra has not filed any appeal. It is only the appellant-Company which has chosen to challenge a part of the judgment of the learned Single Judge regarding fixation of the price of plot No.247, at the rate of Rs.3000/- per sq. metre.
We have hard Shri Vinod S. Bhardwaj, learned counsel appearing for the appellant-Company and Shri Kamal Sehgal, learned counsel appearing for the HSIDC and with their assistance have also gone through the record of the case.
From the narration of the aforesaid facts, it is apparent that primarily HSIDC has been quite remiss and casual in its approach in allotting the plots to various persons. Originally, plot No.109 was allotted to S.L.Chopra in the year 1979 and it was found that there existed a cremation ground. However, because of non-raising of construction by S.L.Chopra on Letters Patent Appeal No.178 of 2003 8
the said plot, the said plot was resumed. After its resumption, strangely, the same plot was allotted to appellant-Company vide allotment order dated October 5,1981. The cremation ground existed at that point of time also.
Resultantly, the appellant-Company was also not able to raise construction.
At that stage, resumption proceedings are initiated against the appellant- Company in the year 1983 for non-construction. However, on resistance shown by the appellant-company and because of the decree passed by the Civil Court, HSIDC did not choose to resume the plot. At this stage, it initiated a move to allot an alternative plot. Even the alternative plot allotted to the appellant-Company in the year 1996 was found to be under litigation and in possession of one Parma Nand and family. In these circumstances, the learned Single Judge was absolutely justified in ordering the allotment of plot No.247 to the appellant-Company, as the said plot had been ordered to be reserved through an interim order passed on a pryer made by the appellant-Company.
The only controversy which remains for adjudication is as to whether the learned Single Judge was right in fixing the price at the rate of Rs.3000/-per sq. metre. For the aforesaid purpose, the learned Single Judge had taken into consideration the allotment price in the year 1979 when plot Letters Patent Appeal No.178 of 2003 9
No.109 had been allotted to S.L.Chopra and after calculating the enhancement on the basis of efflux of time,had come to the conclusion that the allotment price in the year 2003, would come to Rs.3000/- per sq. metre.
Additionally,the learned Single Judge has relied upon an order dated January 31,1997 passed by the Division Bench in the writ petition. On the basis of the said order it was held by the learned Single Judge that for all practical purposes the original allotment of the respective plots to S.L.Chopra and M/s. Jindal Combines (appellant-Company) stood substituted by the said order and the allotment of the present plot to the appellant-Company was to be governed by the said order. It was held that virtually a new understanding between the parties had been arrived at and the allottees had been given a right of their respective adjustment indicating therein that the tentative price may have to be paid in addition to the premium deposited at the time of original allotment by the allottees. For the sake of ready reference the relevant portion of the order dated January 31,1997 is extracted as follow :
"After hearing the parties in this petition as well as the writ petitions filed by the Gram Panchayat, we find that there is possibility of the controversy being Letters Patent Appeal No.178 of 2003
settled between the parties by negotiations. The learned Advocate General appearing for the State and H.S.I.D.C.
has after seeking instructions from the authorities of the Corporation made a candid statement that the alternative site which has been ear-marked for the cremation ground will be fully levelled by the H.S.I.D.C. at its own expenses and adequate provision for electricity and water will be made, if the same has already not been made so far. He also states that diversion to the existing nullah will also be provided by the authorities so that the cremation ground is not flooded during rains and no damage is caused to the public property or any other property.
Regarding the allottees of other industrial plots, Shri Hooda states that it is possible to adjust the allottees of plots who are having a dispute regarding the plot No.109 and plot Nos.110 and 111 which were allotted to them but possession was not given due to the Letters Patent Appeal No.178 of 2003
resistance offered by the villagers.
Keeping in view the statement of the
learned Advocate General, we direct the Corporation to undertake the work of levelling the cremation ground at an early date. We also direct the Corporation to give alternative offer of plots to all the allottees indicting therein the tentative price which the allottees may have to pay in addition to the premium etc. already deposited at the time of original allotment. Such offer shall be made to each of the allottees within a period of four weeks from today.
The matter be listed for further
consideration on March 4,1977."
From the perusal of the order dated January 31,1997, we also find that the Corporation had been directed to give an alternative plot to all the allottees indicating therein the tentative price which the allottees may have to pay in addition to the premium etc. already deposited at the time of original allotment. The said order was never challenged by the Letters Patent Appeal No.178 of 2003
appellant-Company at any stage. In fact, it appears that the said order was passed with the implied consent of the parties. In these circumstances, it is not open to the appellant-Company to turn around and claim that it was still entitled to get the alternative plot No.247 at the original price on which plot No.109 was allotted in the year 1981.
There is another aspect of the matter. A perusal of the judgment of the learned Single Judge shows that the learned counsel for S.L.Chopra had offered that his client was ready to accept the allotment at the rate of Rs.3,000/- per sq. metre. The said statement was made during the course of arguments. Both the writ petitions were being heard together by the learned Single Judge. In these circumstances, when the offer made by counsel for one of the writ petitioners was accepted by the learned Single Judge, then obviously the said offer would be deemed to have made with the implied consent of the appellant-Company as well. The judgment of the learned Single Judge does not show that the said offer was contested by or on behalf of the appellant-Company at any stage. Having accepted the aforesaid rate of Rs.3,000/- per sq. metre, it would not be open to the appellant-Company now at this stage to challenge the said price. In any case in view of the Letters Patent Appeal No.178 of 2003
order dated January 31,1997, it is too late in the day for the appellant- Company to claim the allotment of the alternative plot at the original rate.
Accordingly, we do not find any merit in the plea raised by the appellant- Company.
Consequently, we find that there is no scope for interference in the present appeal qua the rate determined by the learned Single Judge.
At this state, Shri Bhardwaj, the learned counsel appearing for the appellant-Company brings to our notice that neither the possession of the alternative plot No. 247 has been offered to the appellant-Company nor any benefit of the original amount deposited by the appellant-Company in the year 1981 and even the enhanced amount deposited by it in the year 1994, has been given to the appellant-Company. He prays that the appellant-Company has been made to suffer unnecessarily on account of the negligent and casual approach of the HSIDC.
We find merit in the aforesaid contention. Consequently we direct the respondent HSIDC to hand over the actual physical possession of plot No.247 Phase IV, Udyog Vihar , Gurgaon to the appellant-Company and issue an allotment letter in its favour at the rate of Rs.3,000/- per sq.
Letters Patent Appeal No.178 of 2003
metre. The allotment letter would be issued within a period of two weeks from the day a certified copy of this order is received and actual physical possession of the said plot shall also be offered within a period of one month of the receipt of the copy. It is further directed that the amount deposited by the appellant-Company at the time of original allotment of plot No,.109 in the year 1981 and also at the time of enhancement in the year 1994, shall carry an interest at the rate of 12% per annum. The appellant- Company shall be given the due credit of the original/enhanced amount deposited by it along with the aforesaid interest while asking for the balance amount with regard to plot No.247. The appellant-Company on account of the hardship suffered by it shall also be entitled to make the payment of the balance amount in six monthly equal instalments.
With the aforesaid directions and modification, in the judgment of the learned Single Judge, the present appeal stands disposed of.
(Viney Mittal )
September 28,2005 ( H.S. Bedi )
Letters Patent Appeal No.178 of 2003
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