High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh
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Ravinder Kumar Dhall & Ors v. Chandigarh Housing Board and - CWP-15400-2005  RD-P&H 6300 (31 August 2006)
IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB & HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH
Civil Writ Petition No.15400 of 2005
Date of decision: August 22,2006
Ravinder Kumar Dhall and others V. Chandigarh Housing Board and others
CORAM: HON'BLE MR.JUSTICE VINEY MITTAL
HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE H.S.BHALLA
Present: Shri R.S.Manhas,Advocate
Shri Deepak Sibal,Advocate
for the petitioners.
Shri K.K.Gupta, Advocate,for the respondents.
This judgment shall dispose of two Civil Writ Petitions being C.W.P. No.15400 of 2005 and CWP No.1189 of 2006 as the common questions of law and facts are involved in the two cases.
For the sake of convenience, the facts are borrowed from C.W.P.
No.15400 of 2005.
In pursuance to advertisement in the year 1989 issued by the Chandigarh Housing Board, the petitioners applied for the flats in the residential complex at Mani Majra. They were allotted flats and were issued allotment letters requiring the petitioners to deposit an amount of Rs.55,183/- whereby the price of the flats had been fixed at Rs.3 lacs. The said price was further enhanced. The petitioners maintain that the aforesaid enhancement of price by Chandigarh Housing Board was totally unjustified inasmuch as there is no enhancement of compensation for the acquired land, which had been used for the purpose of construction of flats.
C.W.P. No.15400 of 2005 2
The petitioners claim that some allottees who were similarly situated as the petitioners, approached this court through Civil Writ Petition No.7563 of 1993 on various grounds. The said writ petition was dismissed by a learned Single Judge of this court vide order dated April 4,1994. However, the judgment of the learned Single Judge was taken up in appeal by way of L.P.A. No.237 of
1994. The petitioners claim that after the dismissal of Civil Writ Petition No.7563 of 1993, notices dated July 20,1994 were issued to the allottees whereby the final price was determined at Rs.3,71,000/- for a flat. The allottees were required to pay the same either in lump sum or in instalments along with interest. The petitioners further claim that allottees made representation to the Board to keep the matter of recovery in abeyance till the final decision taken in LPA No.237 of 1994. However, since there was no response from the Board, therefore, the allottees had no other option except to make the payment by way of instalments.
It has also been averred by the petitioners that some similar allottees of category IV flats had also challenged the action of the Board in increasing the price of flats from Rs.243000/- to Rs.4,20,000/-. A learned Single Judge dismissed the writ petitions filed by the aforesaid allottees. However, the mater was taken up in appeals by way of various LPAs, the lead case being LPA No.732 of 1995 ( Mathura Parshad and others V. Chandigarh Housing Board).
L.P.A. No.732 of 1995 was allowed by a Division Bench of this court vide judgment dated August 3,2005 and the Board was directed to redetermine the price of the flats. The petitioners have also pleaded that on the basis of the judgment passed in LPA No.732 of 1995, LPA No.237 of 1994 filed by the allottees of the flats belonging to the category of the petitioners was also allowed vide judgment dated C.W.P. No.15400 of 2005 3
September 21,2005 in the same terms. Consequently, the petitioners have claimed that they are also entitled to the benefits of the judgment in LPA No.732 of 1995 and LPA No.237 of 1994.
The claim of the petitioners has been contested by the respondents. In the written statement filed by respondent No.1, various pleas have been raised. A preliminary objection has been raised with regard to the writ petition being highly belated. The enhanced price fixed by the Board has also been justified.
We have heard the learned counsel for the parties and have also gone through the record of the case.
It is not in dispute that in Mathura Parshad's case (supra), the writ petitioners/appellants in those cases had challenged the enhancement of price by the Board. The learned Single Judge had dismissed the writ petitions filed by the allottees. In LPA the claim of the allottees was allowed with the following observations: "During the course of hearing today, Mr.
P.S.Patwalia, the learned Senior Counsel for the appellants has referred to the judgment of the Hon'ble Supreme Court rendered in Bareilly Development Authority Vs. Ajai Pal Singh, JT 1989(1) SC 368, followed in Indore Development Authority Vs. Smt.
Sadhana Aggarwal & Others JT 1995(3) SC Page 1 and has argued that it was perhaps not possible for him to urge before this Court that the increase in price was based on wrong facts and figures as admitted the price advertised was a tentative one. He has, however, urged that in the light of a Division Bench Judgment of this Court in Surinder Singh Vs. State of Punjab and another 1997(3) PLR 261, it was open to the allottees to C.W.P. No.15400 of 2005 4
challenge an arbitrary fixation of the price and that in any case before any additional price could be determined, the allottees were entitled to a hearing. It has also been pointed out that in this situation, the proper remedy would be to remit the case to the Board so that a proper price fixation can be made, after notice to the appellants.
We find merit in this plea.
We, therefore, allow LPA No. 732 of 1995 filed by appellants-Mathura Prashad and others but dismiss the appeals, filed by the Board. Annexure P.5 is accordingly quashed. We further direct that while re- determining the price of the flats, the board principles laid down in the aforesaid judgments will be kept in mind by the Board. Dasti."
The judgment in Mathura Parshad's case was followed by another Division Bench of this court in LPA No.237 of 1994 ( Rasila Ram and others V. Chandigarh Housing Board) which was decided on September 21,2005.The said judgment in Rasila Ram's case pertains to the same category of flats which had been allotted to the present writ petitioners. The operative portion of the Division Bench in Rasila Ram's case may also be noticed as follows : "After hearing the counsel for the appellants and going through the records as also the judgment in Letters Patent Appeal No. 732 of 1995, we are satisfied that the matter is fully covered by the said judgment. Accordingly, we dispose of these appeals in the same terms. We, however, add that since in the present case, after the filing of the appeals, the respondent Board has also levied penal interest to which appellants have objected, they shall be at liberty to raise their objections about levy of penal interest also C.W.P. No.15400 of 2005 5
before the respondent Board when the matter is taken up for fresh adjudication in terms of the said judgment.
The appeals are accordingly allowed
in the above terms. No costs."
Consequently, without going any further into the various pleas raised by the parties, we allow the present writ petitions in terms of Rasila Ram's case (supra).
A copy of the order be given dasti on payment.
(Viney Mittal )
August 22,2006 ( H.S.Bhalla )
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