Kalu Ram Ahuja &
ANR. Vs. Delhi Development Authority & ANR.  INSC 1419 (25 August
JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NOS.5228-5229 OF 2008 (Arising out of S.L.P. (C)
No.8122 of 2006) Kalu Ram Ahuja and Another ...Appellant(s) Versus Delhi
Development Authority and Another ...Respondent(s) O R D E R Leave granted.
Heard learned counsel
for the parties.
The Delhi Development
Authority (for short, D.D.A.], issued an advertisement, which was published in
the newspaper dated 21st May, 1988 for auction of Plot No.235 measuring 84.10
sq. meter situated at Padam Nagar, New Delhi. In the auction held on 21st June,
1988, the appellants participated along with other bidders. They gave the
highest bid of Rs.3,00,758/-. In terms of the advertisement, the bid was
required to be approved by the Vice-Chairman, D.D.A.
The latter rejected
the same and his decision was communicated to the appellants vide letter dated
7th July, 1988, sent by Deputy Director [O.S.D.], D.D.A.
challenged the rejection of their bid by filing writ petition which was
dismissed by the learned Single Judge by relying on the so-called
representation made by ex-Municipal Member to espouse the cause of residents of
the area. The Letters Patent Appeal preferred by the appellants was dismissed
by the Division Bench. Hence, these appeals by special leave.
Undisputedly, the D.D.A. had taken a conscious decision to auction the plot. It
is neither the pleaded case of the respondents nor any material has been
produced before this Court to show that the said decision was taken by the
competent authority under some mis-apprehension. It is also not in dispute that
the appellants participated in the auction held on 1st June, 1988, and gave
highest bid, which, as mentioned above, was rejected by the Vice-Chairman,
D.D.A. The communication dated 7th July, 1988, does not make a mention of the
reason which may have prompted the Vice-Chairman to reject the bid given by the
appellants. No other record has been produced before the Court to show that the
decision of the Vice-Chairman was based on rational and tangible reasons and
was in public interest. Therefore, there is no escape from the conclusion that
the decision of the concerned authority was wholly arbitrary. The learned
Single Judge without property appreciating the nature of the appellants'
challenge to the rejection of their bid, dismissed the writ petition. The
Division Bench also committed the same error by dismissing the appeal.
Therefore, the impugned orders are legally unsustainable. Accordingly, the
appeals are allowed, impugned orders passed by the High Court are set aside,
writ petition filed by the appellants before the High Court is allowed and the
decision of the Vice- Chairman, D.D.A. to reject the bid of the appellants is
quashed. The appellants are directed to deposit the amount of bid along with
the interest thereon at the rate of eighteen per cent from the date of bid till
the ....3/- -3- date of actual payment within a period of three months from
today. Thereafter the D.D.A. shall complete all the formalities of land and
hand over possession to the appellants. The needful be done within three months
from the date the amount is deposited by the appellants.
Delhi, August 25, 2008.