High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh
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Prem Singh v. Haryana State Agricultural Marketing Boa - CWP-460-2005  RD-P&H 3276 (18 May 2006)
Civil Writ Petitioner No.460 of 2005
Date of decision: May 8,2006
Prem Singh V. Haryana State Agricultural Marketing Board and others
CORAM: HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE VINEY MITTAL
Present: Mr. Deepak Sibal,Advocate,for the petitioner.
Mr. Narender Hooda, Advocate, for the respondents.
The petitioner is working as Commission Agent at Faridabad.
In an auction held on August 11,1990, the petitioner's bid for plot No.29 being the highest bid was accepted. He was allotted the aforesaid plot at the bid price of Rs.5,05,000/-. As per terms and conditions of the auction, the petitioner deposit 25% of the costs of the plot and was issued an allotment letter. The petitioner has pleaded that he deposited an amount of Rs.5,02,801/- but since the respondent did not develop the area in question, he along with various other similarly situated persons requested the authorities to develop the area so that the construction of the booth could be raised. It has been alleged by the petitioner that the aforesaid request of the said allottees was not considered and the respondents directed the petitioner to deposit the balance amount along with interest and penalty.
The petitioner challenged the aforesaid action of the Market Committee by filing an appeal before the Chief Administrator, Haryana State Agricultural Marketing Board. In the aforesaid appeal also, the petitioner made a grievance with regard to necessary basic amenities having not been provided and consequently challenged the action of the Market Committee in levying the interest and penalty upon the petitioner. The petitioner claims that during the pendency of the aforesaid proceedings in appeal, the District Market Enforcement Officer was appointed to enquire into the matter and submitted a detailed report with regard to facilities provided by the Market Committee. Vide report dated December 2,2002 it was reported by the Enquiry Officer that at the time when the plot was put to auction there were 3 platforms, internal roads and boundary wall only and that there was no water facilities, no sewerage facility and no electricity.
The petitioner also maintains that even the internal roads were only on paper and did not exist at the spot. There was no toilets. There was no arrangements for providing electricity connections.
However, an appeal filed by the petitioner was dismissed by the Chief Administrator on July 19,2004. A copy of the order dated July 19,2004 passed by the Chief Administrator has been appended as Annexure P/3 with the present petition.
It is in these circumstances that the petitioner has approached this court challenging the order passed by the Market Committee as well as orders Annexure P/3 passed by the Chief Administrator whereby the petitioner has been required to pay the interest and penalty along with the payment of the balance instalments.
The petitioner had initially relied upon a Division Bench judgment of this court in the case of M/s.Shanti Kunj Investments Pvt. Ltd.
V. U.T. Administrator Chandigarh 2001(1) P.L.R. 838. On the strength of the aforesaid judgment it was contended that levying of interest/penalty by the respondents was wholly against the law laid down by this court. At this stage, it may also be noticed that a specific plea was raised by the petitioner that the possession of the plot in question at no point of time was delivered to him. It was pleaded that the aforesaid plea was also specifically taken by the petitioner before the appellate authority but no finding in this regard has been recorded.
We have heard Shri Deepak Sibal, learned counsel appearing for the petitioner and Shri Narender Hooda, learned counsel appearing for the respondents and with their assistance have also gone through the record of the case.
At the first instance, we may notice that a specific plea was raised by the petitioner before the appellate authority that the possession of plot in question has, at no point of time, been delivered to the petitioner.
However, the aforesaid claim of the petitioner was contested by the Market Committee. Before the appellate authority, the market committee had maintained that the allotment letter itself was a letter of possession and,therefore, it could be inferred that on issuance of the allotment letter itself, possession stood delivered. We, however, find that the Market Committee had maintained before the appellate authority that the petitioner had, at no point of time, approached for delivery of possession. In these circumstances, we are satisfied that the plea raised by the petitioner, that the possession of the plot in question had not been delivered to him has not been adjudicated by the appellate authority at all.
At the outset, we may notice that in the case of Sector-6 Bahadurgarh Plot Holders' Association (Regd.) & Ors.
vs. State of Haryana and another JT 1995 (9) SC 167, the Apex Court has laid down that an allottee who had been offered possession, could not take the shelter of non- providing of all the amenities around the allotted plot.
However, it was noticed that no interest etc. could be demanded till the offer of possession was made.
The aforesaid judgment of the Apex Court was also considered in the case of Municipal Corporation Chandigarh & Ors. Etc. vs. M/s. Shantikunj Investment Pvt.Ltd.Etc. JT 2006 (3) SC 1. In M/s. Shantikunj Investment Pvt.Ltd.Etc. case (supra), relying upon Sector-6 Bahadurgarh Plot Holders' Association (Regd.) & Ors.
(supra), the Apex court laid down that it was only when facilities like kucha road, drainage, drinking water, sewerage and street lights had not been provided that some defence could be raised by an allottee with regard to non-payment of the interest, penal interest and extension fee. But the non- providing of the aforesaid facilities could not be treated to be a pre-condition with regard to all other amenities which were liable to be provided by the allotting Authority.
In view of the aforesaid law laid down by the Apex Court, we are satisfied that the allottees can only make a grievance with regard to the non-providing of the aforesaid facilities/amenities, as noticed by the Apex Court in judgments reported as Sector-6 Bahadurgarh Plot Holders' Association (Regd.) & Ors. (supra) and M/s. Shantikunj Investment Pvt.Ltd.Etc (supra).
The appellate authority while rejecting the appeal field by the petitioner has,however, noticed certain facts that some amenities and infra structure had been provided at the spot. However, we find the matter required re-determination by the competent authority in the lines of the judgment reported in Sector-6 Bahadurgarh Plot Holders' Association (Regd.) & Others V. State of Haryana and another JT 1995(9) SC 167 and in the case of M/s.Shantikunj Investment Pvt. Ltd etc.(supra) .
Additionally, we have noticed that a specific plea having been raised by the petitioner that the possession of the plot in question had never been delivered to him, the aforesaid point also needs to be adjudicated upon and it has to be actually determined as to on that date, the possession of the plot in question had been handed over to the petitioner/allottee.
Consequently, we deem it appropriate if the matter is re- determined by the Market Committee, Faridabad to examine as to whether the possession of the plot in question had already been delivered to the petitioner/allottee as claimed by the Market Committee or that the same had not been so delivered as has been claimed by the petitioner. Additionally, the question as to whether the basic facilities as detailed out by the Apex Court in the aforesaid judgment in Shantikunj's case (supra) had been provided by the Market Committee or not, would also have to be examined by the Market Committee.
Consequently, we dispose of the present petition with a liberty to the petitioner to approach the Market Committee, Faridabad by filing a detailed representation pleading therein all the necessary facts, which are relevant for consideration for absolving the petitioner from making the payment which has been demanded from him. Along with the representation the petitioner shall also append the copies of the judgments in Sector-6 Bahadurgarh Plot Holders' Association's case (supra) and M/s.Shantikunj Investment's case(supra). The aforesaid representation would be filed by the petitioner before the Market Committee, within a period of six weeks from the date of receipt of a certified copy of this order. On receipt of the said representation, the Executive Officer, Market Committee, Faridabad shall consider the claim made by the petitioner and after providing him an opportunity of hearing shall pass a final detailed speaking order within a period of four month thereafter. After the final determination by the Executive Officer, if he comes to the conclusion that the possession of the plot in question had been delivered and that the necessary amenities as laid down by the Apex Court had been provided to the petitioner, then the petitioner would be required to deposit all the outstanding dues payable with regard to allotment of plot. In this regard after final determination by the Market Committee, a written communication through a registered cover shall be issued to the petitioner and on receipt of the aforesaid communication, the petitioner would be required to clear all the outstanding dues within a period of two months thereafter. If the petitioner fails to clear the aforesaid outstanding dues, the Market Committee would be at liberty to proceed against the petitioner in accordance with law.
We specifically make it clear that while reconsidering the matter afresh, the Executive Officer of the Market Committee shall not take into consideration order dated July 19,2004 passed by the Chief Administrator.
Till a final decision is taken by the Market Committee, no recovery shall be effected from the petitioner.
A copy of the order be given dasti on payment of usual charges.
(Viney Mittal )
May 8,2006 (H.S.Bhalla )
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