Pal Sharma Vs. Ghaziabad Development Authority  Insc
424 (18 August 2005)
Pasayat & H.K. Sema
out of S.L.P.(C) No. 22736 of 2002 WITH
Civil Appeal No.549 of 2003 AND Contempt Petition No.614 of 2004 in C.A.No.549
of 2003 H.K.SEMA,J Civil Appeal arising out of SLP(C) 22736 of 2002 Leave
challenge in this appeal is to the order dated 26.4.2002 passed by the National
Consumers Disputes Redressal Commission (in short `the Commission') in Revision
Petition No. 1460 of 2000.
stated, the facts are as follows:
respondent authority, namely the Ghaziabad Development Authority, floated a
Scheme called Karpoori Puram Scheme for allotment of housing plots under the
Self Financing Scheme. Pursuant thereto, the appellant applied for a plot of
land measuring an area of 90 sq. mtrs. This was sometime in the month of July,
1991. On 30th July,
1994, the appellant
deposited a sum of Rs. 96,948 as total and final payment (i.e. Rs. 81,020/- as
actual cost and Rs. 15,948 as interest on delayed payment). The allotment of
the plot was due sometime in 1997. However, the land in question could not be
allotted to the appellant on the ground that the Karpoori Puram Scheme had been
cancelled and a new scheme had been floated by the name of Swarn Jayanti Puram.
Aggrieved thereby, the appellant filed complaint to the District Forum, State
Commission and National Commission, which after considering the facts of the
case, inter-alia, directed refund of the amount alongwith interest @ 18% per
grievance of the appellant is that in the guise of the cancellation of Karpoori
Puram Scheme another scheme was floated styled as Swarn Jayant Puram over the
same plot of land with a view to deprive the innocent citizens of their due
share for allotment of plot in their favour for which they had deposited the
amount and had legitimate expectations of getting plot of land in their favour.
According to the appellant, a fraudulent practice has been played by the
respondent upon the innocent law abiding citizens, thereby earning wrongful
gain at the cost of wrongful loss to the helpless and innocent citizens.
fact, in an identical case, cancellation of Karpoori Puram Scheme had been
considered by this Court in the case of Ghaziabad Development Authority v. Balbir
Singh (2004) 5 SCC 65 wherein this Court had deprecated the manner in which the
statutory authority had dealt with the public interest as sought to be done in
the present case. This Court in the facts and circumstances of that case had
held that the grant of interest @ 18% per annum by way of damages and
compensation was quite justified.
paragraph 21 of Balbir Singh's case (supra), this Court held as under:
In a scheme known as "Karpuripuram Scheme" plots were allotted, monies
collected. However, thereafter the Scheme was cancelled. In some of the matters
we have seen that the District Forum has recorded that the authority could give
no explanation as to why the Scheme was cancelled. Before us some sort of
explanation is sought to be given. In our view, irrespective of whether there
was genuine reason to cancel or not, the monies must be returned with interest
at the rate of 18%. We say so because it is clear that even if the body has not
already floated another scheme on the same land it is clear that the body is
going to derive great profit from this land and therefore compensating the allottee
with interest at 18% per annum is just and fair." In our view, therefore,
having regard the facts and circumstances of the case in hand are squarely
covered by the decision of this Court in Balbir Singh (supra). In this view of
the matter, we are of the view that nothing remains to be considered further,
though we deprecate the conduct of the concerned authority, as already pointed
the reasons aforestated, the appeal stands dismissed with no order as to costs.
Appeal No. 549 of 2003 This appeal is directed against the judgment and order
dated 28.5.2002 passed by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission
(hereinafter `the Commission') in Revision Petition No. 460 of 1999.
stated, the facts are as follows:
Scheme known as Govindpuram Scheme was floated by the Ghaziabad Development
Authority (in short `GDA') on 2.10.1988 for residential houses and plots.
Pursuant thereto, the appellant applied for a plot on 31.10.1988 measuring 200
sq. mtrs. and paid the registration amount of Rs. 13,000/- and costs Rs.
1,27,000/- on 31.10.1988. On 31.7.1989, the GDA confirmed the allotment of plot
measuring 200 sq. mtrs. in favour of the appellant. The GDA also directed the
appellant to deposit the balance amount in six half-yearly instalments
commencing from 5.8.1989 and ending on 30.3.1992 with interest @ 15% per annum
in the self financing scheme by way of the reservation letter. It is stated
that the appellant had deposited the entire amount without any default. It is
further stated that the total amount paid by the appellant comes to Rs.
1,27,000/- towards cost of the plot and Rs. 23,100/- as interest totaling to Rs.
1,50,100/-. Despite assurances that the appellant will be intimated about the
actual date of possession, no intimation was received by the appellant even upto
2002. It is stated that instead, the Vice-Chairman, GDA called a Press
Conference on 10.9.1994 stating that the delivery of possession to allottees of
Govindpuram Scheme would not be made, due to the reason that the GDA was facing
shortage of funds on account of which work of laying sewer lines, construction
of roads and electrification work was incomplete.
contra, it was contended on behalf of the GDA that the possession of the plot
in question could not be delivered to the allottee as the stay order granted by
the Allahabad High Court on 24.4.1991 remained in force upto 16.12.1993 and
that during the period the stay order was operative, the development and the
construction work was stalled. In the given facts and circumstances of the
case, the Commission awarded interest @ 18% per annum on the refunded amount by
way of damages and compensation.
grievance of the appellant in this appeal is that the Commission has awarded
interest @ 18% per annum only on the refunded amount but failed to direct the
GDA either to hand over the allotted plot or in alternate allot a plot in the
subsequent scheme at the cost, to be charged from the appellant, who had
applied for in the original scheme. In our view, this contention is not
tenable, as the appellant is not permitted to say that he is entitled both the
best of the world. The interest at the rate of 18% is granted by way of damages
and compensation for non-allotment of plot of land.
case of Ghaziabad Development Authority v. Balbir Singh (2004) 5 SCC 65 facts
of this case have also been considered elaborately by this Court (in para 12 at
page 82 SCC) justifying the grant of interest @ 18% per annum by way of damages
given facts and circumstances of the case, as recited above, we are clearly of
the view that the grant of interest @ 18% per annum was justified in the
present case also.
that view of the matter this case is also covered by the decision in Balbir
Singh's case (supra).
this case also, admittedly, an interim order granted by the Allahabad High
Court was in operation for the period from 24.4.1991 to 16.12.1993. The
Commission held that no interest is payable for the aforesaid period basing on
the report submitted by the Vice-Chairman of the authority that the
development/construction work was prevented by the said stay order and because
of that the authority could not deliver possession to anybody. We have accepted
the said finding of the Commission in paragraph 25 (at page 86 SCC) of our
judgment in Balbir Singh (supra).
given facts and circumstances of the case, as recited above, we are of the view
that there is no merit in this appeal and it is accordingly dismissed with no
order as to costs.
however, clarify that dismissal of the appeal should not be construed as
approval of the conduct of the statutory authority in the manner in which it is
sought to be done. The statutory authority, like GDA, being the State within
the ambit of Article 12 of the Constitution, is duty bound to act in a manner,
which would benefit the public interest, overlooking the private interest. It
is trite law that when the private interest is pitted against the public
interest, the later must prevail over the former. If such instances are brought
to the notice of the court in future, they would be examined on their own