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Udey Raj GIn Vs. Union of India and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Writ Petition Nos. 591 and 612 of 1982
Judge
Reported in1987(12)DRJ19
ActsConstitution of India - Article 14
AppellantUdey Raj Gin
RespondentUnion of India and ors.
Advocates: Umesh Mishra,; R.K. Anand and; N.S. Sistani, Advs
Excerpt:
constitution of india - article 14--it is settled law today that even in dispensation of largesse, the state is bound by the provisions of article 14 of the constitution. no state action can be arbitrary. in other words, no state action can be without valid and tenable reasons. - - we make the rule absolute and quash the impugned orders of cancellation of allotment, threat of re-entry as well as withdrawal of the recommendation for allotment of the plots respectively allotted to the two petitioners......doma, shahdara, delhi. this land was covered by a notification issued under section 4 of the land acquisition act, 1894, on 13/11/1959. it was finally acquired after the making of an award no. 54a of 1970-71, given by the land acquisition collector in 1971. the petitioner received compensation. there after the petitioner coming to know of a scheme for allotment of urban land for construction of houses with regard to persons whose homestead land had been acquired, moved the delhi administration for allotment of a plot of land. after some verification and giving of necessary declarations etc., the petitioner was allotted plot no. 26 in block b of jhilmil, phase ii, delhi by a memorandum dated 15/9/1980. he was also directed to deposit necessary charges in this regard. the petitioner.....
Judgment:

Prakash Narain, C.J.

(1) This judgment will dispose of these two writ petitions in which the question of law that arises for consideration is identical.

(2) The petitioner in Civil Writ No. 612 of 1982 was the owner of a plot of land measuring 119 sq. yds. situated in village Karkar Doma, Shahdara, Delhi. This land was covered by a notification issued under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, on 13/11/1959. It was finally acquired after the making of an Award No. 54A of 1970-71, given by the Land Acquisition Collector in 1971. The petitioner received compensation. There after the petitioner coming to know of a scheme for allotment of urban land for construction of houses with regard to persons whose homestead land had been acquired, moved the Delhi Administration for allotment of a plot of land. After some verification and giving of necessary declarations etc., the petitioner was allotted plot No. 26 in Block B of Jhilmil, Phase Ii, Delhi by a memorandum dated 15/9/1980. He was also directed to deposit necessary charges in this regard. The petitioner made the deposit and has been waiting for a lease-deed to be executed in his favor though possession of the allotted land had been given earlier. The lease-deed was not being executed in petitioner's favor and surprisingly enough he received a copy of a communication dated 30/12/1981 addressed by Delhi Administration to Delhi Development Authority withdrawing the recommendation made earlier by the Delhi Administration for allotment of a plot to the petitioner in consequence of which recommendation the aforesaid plot had been allotted. The reason for withdrawing the recommendation, as given in the said communication is that the petitioner purchased his acquired plot subsequent to the notification under Section 4 dated 13/11/1959. The petitioner challenges cancellation of allotment on this ground by contending that he was rightly allotted land and, in any case, the cancellation has been done without affording him any reasonable opportunity of hearing.

(3) The petitioner in Civil Writ No. 591 of 1982 has the identical problem. Udey Raj girl was the owner of a plot of land measuring 207 sq. yds., meant for construction of a residential house, in village Karkar Doma, Shahdara, Delhi. This land was also covered by the aforesaid notification under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act issued on 13/11/1959. The petitioner's land stood acquired consequent to the giving of Award No. 54A of 1970-71. He had also moved the Delhi Administration and, on a recommendation from Delhi Administration, had been allotted by Delhi Development Authority plot No. 12 Block-B measuring 122.47 sq. meters in Jhilmil Phase II. This allotment has been cancelled by virtue of a communication dated 29/9/1981 and re-entry has been threatened. No specific reason for cancellation is given in the impugned communication dated September 29, 1981 but it is admitted by the respondents in their counter affidavit that the reason is the same, viz. that Udey Raj girl had purchased his acquired plot subsequent to the Section 4 Notification of 1959.

(4) It is common case that purchase by the petitioners in both the petitions was prior to the rendering of Award No. 54A of 1970-71 by the Land Acquisition Collector.

(5) The short question, thereforee, that arises for consideration is whether the reason for withdrawal of the recommendation by the Delhi Administration and consequent cancellation of allotment by the Delhi Development Authority is valid in law. If it is, then action of the respondents could not be called arbitrary. If it is not, the action will have to be held to be arbitrary.

(6) Our attention has been invited to the scheme under which the recommendations were made by the Delhi Administration to the Delhi Development Authority and allotments were made to the petitioners. The relevant clause in this regard is para 8 of communication No. F. 37/16/60-Delhi (1) dated 2.5.1961 issued by the Government of India in the Ministry of Home Affairs to the then Chief Commissioner, Delhi, Para 8, so far as it is relevant, reads as under :-

'8.As a general policy disposal of developed land should be made by auction and the premium should be determined by the highest bid, except in the following cases where land may be allotted at predetermined rates, namely, the cost of acquisition and development plus the additional charge mentioned in sub-paragraph (7) above.

(I)to individuals whose land has been acquired as a result of the Chief Commissioner notification dated the 7/3/1957 : the 3/9/1957, the 13/9/1959 & the 10/11/1960 or other such subsequent notifications provided that this concession will not be available in the case of individuals affected by the notification dated the 7/3/1957 and the 3rd September, 1957, if the acquisition proceedings have been completed and payment made or deposited in the court by the 1/1/1961. In these cases.'

(7) Construing the above provision it has been contended on behalf of the respondents that inasmuch as the acquisition referred to in the relevant paragraph is as a consequence of the notification of 1959, the petitioners could not be given allotment at all and the reason given that they purchased their acquired plots after the notification of 1959 is a valid reason. It is also submitted that the allotments postulated by para 8 are concessions given to certain persons but concessions cannot be enforced by a writ by claiming any right to allotment as there is no right to allotment.

(8) In our view, neither of the two contentions raised on behalf of the respondents can be accepted. Para 8 (i), reproduced earlier, in terms says that individuals whose lands have been acquired as a result of Chief Commissioner's notification dated 13/11/1959 would be entitled to be considered for allotment of land under this particular clause. It does not say that those who purchased land subsequent to the notifications mentioned, including notification of 1959, but prior to acquisition as a result of the notification of 1959 would be not eligible. The interpretation, given by the Delhi Administration, cannot be spelt out from para 8(i). It was urged by Mr. R.K. Anand, counsel for Delhi Administration that the interpretation placed on the scheme under which the petitioners claim allotment can only be explained by the framers of the Scheme and, thereforee, the interpretation placed by Delhi Administration would be tenable. We do not agree. Once a scheme has been reduced to writing, interpretation of the document by either of the parties on that document is subject to judicial review. The parties' own interpretation could only be accepted if that interpretation had been reduced to writing by way of either clarification or modification of a scheme. That obviously has not been done in the present case.

(9) With regard to petitioners not having a right to enforce a concession through court, reliance has been placed on a Bench decision of this court in Mrs. Sheila Kapur & others v. The Chief Commissioner, Delhi and others : AIR1968Delhi146 . In particular our attention has been invited to paras 15 and 16 of that judgment. The observations in paras 15 and 16 of the report are obiter. There was no occasion to consider Article 14 of the Constitution in the facts and circumstances of that case. In any case, if a decision is given by the State and reasons for that decision are also stated, the reasons are subject to judicial review. If the reasons are found to be untenable, it follows that the decision becomes one without reason and so arbitrary. That is the precise situation in the present case. It is too late in the day for anyone to urge that in matters of concessions by the State a party cannot come to Court in writ jurisdiction. It is settled law today that even in dispensation of largesse, the State is bound by the provisions of Article 14 of the Constitution. No State action can be arbitrary. In other words, no State action can be without valid and tenable reasons.

(10) In the present case we find that the reason for withdrawing the recommendation by the Delhi Administration and consequent cancellation of allotments by Delhi Administration being untenable are, thereforee, liable to be struck down. It is ordered accordingly. We make the rule absolute and quash the impugned orders of cancellation of allotment, threat of re-entry as well as withdrawal of the recommendation for allotment of the plots respectively allotted to the two petitioners. The petitioners will be entitled to costs. Counsel fee Rs. 550.00 in each case.


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