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Haryana Urban Development Authority Vs. Smt. Nalini Aggarwal [1997] INSC 445 (21 April 1997)

K. RAMASWMAY, D.P. WADHWA

ACT:

HEADNOTE:

O R D E R Leave granted. We have heard learned counsel for the appellant and also parties-in-person.

Notification was issued calling for the applications for allotment of houses and the respondents had applied on April 20, 1993. the last date for making applications was May 31,1993. After necessary steps were taken and scrutiny was made, lots were drawn of June 7, 1994. Since the respondents remained unsuccessful in the lots, the earnest money deposited by them refunded on July 20,1994 within one month. The question, therefore, is: whether the unsuccessful applicants would be entitled to payment of interest for the period from the date of deposit till the date of refund? One of the condition imposed in the notification inviting applications for allotment was "No interest shall be on the money of the applicant for the period for which the same is lying with the Authority." Having accepted the above conditions, while applied for allotment, the respondents are not entitled to the payment of interest for the period during which the deposit was lying with the Authority. It is true that there was an interlude of around one year between the date of calling applications and the date of draw of lots. It is obvious that the draw of lots was delayed due to administrative exigencies and not on account of any mala fide action of any individual; nor is there any absolute indifference on the part of the appellant in not drawing the lots. However, it is made clear that the appellant being a statutory authority is expected of perform its duties as expeditiously as possible and have the actions taken quickly.

Under these circumstances, the appeals are allowed. the order of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, dated June 14, 1996 made in Revision Petition No. 992/95 etc. and that of the State Forum are clearly illegal. They are accordingly set aside. No costs.

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