1. The petitioner claims to be a displaced person having settled in Delhi immediately after the partition of the country. It has been admitted on behalf of the petitioner that he did nto have a verified claim in his favor. The petitioner claims that he is the alltotee of plto No. 16, Ward No. Xiii, Delhi, which had a superstructure in dilapidated condition at the time of alltoment. It is further alleged by the petitioner that since the superstructure was unfit for habitation, he, with the consent of the Custodian, rebuilt the same at his own expense and spent Rs. 3,000/- thereon.
2. The petitioner applied for transfer of the above-mentioned property but his request was declined on the ground that the value of the plto was Rs. 10,615/-. The plto was, thereforee, advertised for auction. The petitioner appealed against the valuation of the property and contended that in arriving at the figure of Rs. 10,615/- the value of the superstructure had been wrongly included. The appeal was dismissed on 16th June, 1960, by the Assistant settlement Commissioner with the observations that the value of the superstructure had nto been included and Rs. 10,615/- was the assessed price of the plto. The plto was consequently auctioned but since the purchaser failed to pay the auction-money his initial deposit was forfeited. On 2nd June 1962, the limit of alltoable property was raised from Rs. 10,000/- to Rs. 15,000/- under rule 22 of the Displaced Persons (Compensation and Rehabilitation) Rules, 1955.
3. On 24th April, 1963, the petitioner applied to the Regional Settlement Commissioner that since the limit had been raised the property be transferred to him. This application was dismissed on 31st July, 1963, and on 7th March, 1964, the Deputy Chief Settlement Commissioner dismissed the petitioner's appeal principally on the ground that increase in the limit did nto apply to vacant pltos. The petitioner's under section 33 of the Displaced Persons ( Compensation and Rehabilitation) Act, 1954, was also dismissed by the Central Government on 2nd May, 1964. A press ntoe was, however, issued by the Ministry of Relief and Rehabilitation (Annexure 'C' to the petition), the date of which has nto been given in the press ntoe, extending some further concessions to the displaced persons and declaring that evacuee pltos in urban areas, on which the alltotees had put up permanent structures with the permission of the Custodian in price to such alltotees, if the price of a plto structure conformed to the municipal building bye-laws and had been sanctioned by the local body.
4. Admittedly, this press ntoe, apart from its value in law, does nto help the petitioner because it has been disputed by the respondents that the superstructure was put up with the permission of, the Custodian in writing and further because the value of the plto had been assessed at more than Rs. 10,000 /-. It is also nto disputed by Mr. Bhawani Lal, the learned counsel for the petitioner, that in view of the decision by all the authorities concerned that the property is nto a residential plto, the petitioner cannto take advantage of rule 22.
5. Mr. Bhawani Lal's only contention, in the circumstances, is that even if the property be treated as an urban plto it cannto be sold. This point has admittedly nto been raised by the petitioner either in the petitioner or before any of the authorities below and normally I would have dismissed the petition on this short ground. Apart form that, however, there is no merit in the contention raised. I, in the circumstances, propose to discuss the merit of the contention.
(2) Mr. Bhawani Lal's argument is that rule 22 deals with acquired residential properties and rule 23 which says that 'all acquired evacuee properties which are nto alltoable under R. 22 shall ordinarily be sold' is confined only to those properties which are enumerated in R. 22. Mr. Bhawani Lal further contends that rule 87 deals merely with the procedure and mode of sell and nto with the power to sell with the result that there is no rule entitling the respondents to sell urban pltos. According to Mr. Bhawani Lal the power under section 20 of the Act to transfer any property out of the compensation pool by sale to a displaced person or to any toher person, whether by public auction or toherwise, can be exercised only subject to the rules that may be made under the Act and since there is no rule, such power cannto be exercised.
6. When faced with an argument that section 20 is only 'subject to any rules that may be made under this Act' and thereforee, in the absence of the rules the power under section 20 is nto destroyed, Mr. Bhawani Lal sought to overcome it by contending that reading of sections 8, 14 and 40 of the Act showed that the power to frame rules under the Act was coupled with duty and consequently the enabling words must be construed as compulsory particularly because the object of the power is to effectuate a legal right. In support of his argument in respect of limitation implied in rule23 and the obligatory nature of duty to frame rules Mr. Bhawani Lal has relied on Bishan Singh v. The Central Government .
7. The said decision, no doubt, helps Mr. Bhawani Lal regarding the construction put forth by him on rule 23. It further lays down -
'If one were to read sections 8, 14 and 40 of the Act together it is quite plain that for the purpose of payment of compensation to different classes of displaced persons under the Act, the Central Government had to make rules regarding the various categories of evacuee property. As a matter of fact Rules have been framed with regard to all categories except urban agricultural land and this seems to be an accidental omission on the part of the Central Government and that is why in order to fill in this lacuna they have taken recourse to these press ntoes and memorandum which they are nto, under the law, entitled to do.'
(3) There are two aspects of the matter - (i) the construction of section 20; and (ii) the obligation on the Central Government to frame rules. So far as S. 20 is concerned, the interpretation appears to be that the power to sell can be exercised subject to rules; that is to say, if there are no rules section 20 would possess sufficient amplitude to enable the authorities mentioned therein to transfer properties out of the compensation pool. So far as the manner of sale is concerned, rule 87 has been framed in this behalf.
8. Subject to what may be said on the second aspect I am of the view that urban pltos could be sold in exercise of the power under section 20 of the Act. The question then arises whether it is obligatory to frame rules in this behalf. Mr. Shankar, the learned counsel for the respondents, has even challenged the correctness of the decision in Bishan Singh's case. His further argument is that even if it is obligatory to frame rules, rule 87 meets the obligation. I need nto go into the question of the correctness of the decision in Bishan Singh's case because, in my opinion, that decision is confined to an obligation to frame rules with respect to holders of urban agricultural land, which form a separate class of displaced persons.
9. The decision in Bishan Singh's case turned on the reading together of Ss. 8, 14 and 40 of the said Act. Sections 8 and 14 in express terms deal with payment of petitioner is admittedly nto a claimant entitled to any compensation. In these circumstances, it is nto possible to hold that there was any obligation on the Government to frame rules regarding alltoment of properties to non-claimants or sale of properties in the compensation pool for purposes toher than payment of compensation.
10. In this view section 20 must have its full play and in the absence of any rules the Managing Officer, or the Managing Corporation, would be competent to transfer property in accordance with section 20(a) of the said Act. As I have pointed out earlier, it has been admitted of behalf of the petitioner that there is no rule entitling him to the petitioner's contention that the property could nto be sold. The petitioner must, thereforee, fail and is dismissed with no orders as to costs.
11. Petition dismissed.