Chandigarh Housing Board Vs. Avtar Singh &
Anr  INSC 364 (7
K. Ramaswamy, K. Hansaria B.L. (J)
1995 AIR 2470 1995 SCC (5) 313 1995 SCALE (4)765
O R D
appeal by special leave arises from the order dated 22.7.1994 of the Division
Bench of the Punjab & Haryana High Court in Writ Petition No. 3843/94. The
admitted facts are that Regulation 6 of the Chandigarh Housing Board (Allotment,Management
and Sale of Tenements) Regulations, 1979 (for short,`the Regulations')
regulates, among other things, allotment of the buildings/ flats constructed by
the appellant-Board. A wife/husband and the unmarried children or other members
of the family, one, among them, alone is eligible for allotment of any
building/flat. When the notification was published inviting applications for
allotment of Category II flats, the 1st respondent as well as his wife, Mrs. Kuldip
Kaur, separately applied for allotment of two houses. The allotments came to be
made independently, but later on it was discovered that both of them being wife
and husband, were not eligible .
the allotment made to the 1st respondent was cancelled and the amount paid by
him was forfeited under the Regulations. When he filed the writ petition, the
High Court in the impugned order directed the appellant-Board to return the
entire money paid by the 1st respondent or adjust the same towards the amount
payable by his wife. Thus this appeal by special leave.
counter-affidavit filed by the 1st respondent, it is admitted that acceptance
of allotment by both, the wife and husband was a mistake but there was no
prohibition for making an application for allotment at the relevant time. Since
the 1st respondent and his wife were estranged and were living separately, they
came to make the applications separately and subsequently due to reconcilement
they have been living together and that, therefore, there is no illegality in
their making applications as none of them was then owing a house and that the
High Court was right in directing to refund the amount.
considered the facts and circumstances, we find that when the Regulations
prohibit allotment to wife/husband or dependants and if any one has got a house
or a flat, by necessary implication both or all except one among the members of
the unit are ineligible to make separate applications. There need not be any
specific rule prohibiting making separate application in that behalf. So long
as the couple are tied by marriage bond, both are bound by the Regulations for
allotment. Therefore, the cancellation per se is not illegal. The question then
is whether the entire amount should be forfeited. Obviously, the power of
forfeiture was intended to prevent fraud and malpractice in allotment and in
case of positive finding in that behalf, courts would be loath to interfere
with the exercise of the power under Regulation 6 (2).
facts and circumstances in this case, we think that the appellant- Board would
be justified in forfeiting half of the amount deposited by the 1st respondent
and the balance amount may be adjusted towards the amount payable by his wife,
if not already paid. This may not, however, be treated as a precedent.
appeal is accordingly allowed. No costs.