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HARI KRISHAN PUROHIT v R.H.B.& ORS - CW Case No. 3726 of 1993  RD-RJ 609 (16 March 2005)
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE FOR RAJASTHAN AT
Hari Krishan Purohit v. Raj.Housing Board & Ors.
S.B.CIVIL WRIT PETITION NO.3726/1993 under Article 226 of the
Constitution of India. 16th March, 2005
Date of Order :
HON'BLE MR.JUSTICE GOVIND MATHUR
Mr. H.K.Purohit, for the petitioner.
Mr. Pankaj Bohra for Mr.Ravi Bhansali, for the respondents.
BY THE COURT :
At the outset counsel for the petitioner stated that he is not pressing the prayers made in the writ petition except prayer (b) read with prayer (g) which reads as under:-
"(b) to direct the non-petitioners to pay interest to the petitioner on his deposits at the rate of 24% and to refund Rs.450/- with interest and also to refund Rs.9356/- being the difference of Ann.II and III.
(g) to compensate the loss suffered by the petitioner in regard to interest etc."
The facts necessary to adjudicate the limited question raised by the petitioner in this writ petition are that the petitioner got himself registered for allotment of residential accommodation under General Registration Scheme, 1982 sponsored by Rajasthan Housing Board. The petitioner was registered in Middle Income Group
(B) category by depositing a sum of Rs.4600/-. The registration of the petitioner was transferred from General Registration Scheme to Self Financing
Scheme, 1987. The petitioner after registration in
Self Financing Scheme, 1987 deposited a sum of
Rs.1,20,000/- with respondent Housing Board as a demand was made under communication dated 1.2.1988. Under a communication dated 17.2.1992 the Estate Manager, Rajasthan Housing Board,
Jodhpur communicated to the petitioner with regard to allotment of house No.11/841, Chopasani Housing
Board Scheme, Jodhpur to him under Self Financing
Scheme, 1987. By letter dated 17.2.1992 the petitioner was also instructed to deposit a sum of
Rs.1,13,840/- as the amount due for allotment of the house. The petitioner in compliance of communication dated 17.2.1992 deposited a sum of
Rs.1,13,841/- with the respondents. After deposition of the amount possession of the house was given to the petitioner. By an another communication dated 8.10.1992 certain changes were made in the amount required to be paid for allotment of residential accommodation and the petitioner was directed to deposit only a sum of
Rs.1,04,485/- instead of Rs.1,13,841/-. As the amount of Rs.1,13,841/- was deposited by the petitioner with Rajasthan Housing Board, Jodhpur
Circle, Jodhpur prior to 8.10.1992, therefore, the amount in the tune of Rs.9,356/- was lying in excess with the Housing Board. The amount of
Rs.9,356/- was paid to the petitioner by the
Rajasthan Housing Board through a cheque dated 29.4.1997 under a communication dated 29.4.1997 from Assistant Accounts Officer, Rajasthan Housing
Board, Jodhpur Circle, Jodhpur.
The submission of the petitioner is that the amount of Rs.9,356/- was retained by the
Housing Board for a period of more than five years without any authority of law and, therefore, a direction should be given to the Rajasthan Housing
Board to pay interest upon the amount of
Rs.9,356/- for the period the said amount retained with the Rajasthan Housing Board. To substantiate the contention the petitioner has placed reliance upon a judgment of this Court in the case of
Shanker Lal Vs. State of Rajasthan & Ors., reported in WLR 1998 Raj. 805, wherein learned
Single Judge of this Court held as under:-
"8.- In the instant case, the respondents have withheld the money for sufficiently unreasonable period. There can be no justification for inaction for such a long period by the respondents.
If the bid given by the petitioner was not acceptable to the respondents, the statutory authorities were supposed to act reasonably and fairly within a reasonable period. No party can be permitted to take advantage of its own wrong. (Vide G.S.Lamba and other Vs.
Union of India and others, 1985(2) SCC 604; and T.Sriniwasan Vs. T.Varulakshmi, 1998(3) SCC 112). 9.- The State or State instrumentality, which represent the community as a whole, has no right to enrich itself by deliberately retaining the property of any of its member without any reason without providing adequate compensation for it. (Vide Narain Das Jain Vs. Agra
Nagar Mahapalika, 1991(4) SCC 212). It is a matter of common knowledge that money loses its value every day. "After all money is what money buys. It is a common experience that the purchasing power of rupee is dwindling with rising inflation, the delayed payment may lose all charms and utility. (Vide K.Krishna
Reddy and other Vs. Special Deputy
Collector, AIR 1988 SC 2123). It is in such circumstances, the submission of the respondents that interest is not payable, is unwarranted and uncalled for."
The counsel appearing on behalf of
Rajasthan Housing Board accepts the fact that a sum of Rs.9,356/- was paid in excess by the petitioner and the same was retained by Rajasthan
Housing Board till its disbursal by cheque dated 29.4.1997 under communication dated 29.4.1997 passed by Assistant Accounts Officer, Rajasthan
Housing Board, Jodhpur Circle, Jodhpur. No reason has been given by the respondent to retain the aforesaid amount for a period of more than five years. The authorities of the Housing Board were aware of the fact that the amount paid by the petitioner was lying with them and, therefore, it was obligatory for them to refund the same at earliest.
In totality of the facts and circumstances of this case I consider it appropriate to direct the respondent Rajasthan
Housing Board to make the payment of interest to the petitioner upon the amount of Rs.9,356/- @ 10% per annum from the date it was deposited with
Rajasthan Housing Board in pursuance of communication dated 17.2.1992 to 29.4.1997 the date on which the sum of Rs.9,356/- was paid to the petitioner by cheque.
With these observations the writ petition is disposed of.
No order as to costs.
( GOVIND MATHUR ),J. kkm/ps.
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