Umesh Pandey Vs.
Chairman, Bihar State Hsg Brd,Bihar &Ors  INSC 690 (2 April 2009)
JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO.2136 OF 2009 (Arising out of S.L.P. (C) No.17106
of 2007) Umesh Pandey ...Appellant(s) Versus Chairman, Bihar State Housing
Board, Bihar and Ors. ...Respondent(s)
O R D E R
In response to an advertisement
issued by the Bihar Housing Board (for short, "the Board"), a number
of persons including the respondent applied for allotment of MIG house in the
town of Arrah. The respondent submitted the required documents. A lottery was
drawn on 12.1.1983 to determine as to which house would go to the particular
applicant but only 23 out of 30 applicants were allotted houses measuring 2250
sq. fts. At an estimated cost of Rs.86,913/-. The respondent was not allotted
the house on the pretext that he had not submitted affidavit in the prescribed
format. He filed a writ petition, which was registered as CWJC No.5774 of 1986
for issue of a direction to the Board to allot him MIG house.
By an order dated
9.9.1987, the High Court directed the Board to file a detailed affidavit giving
particulars of the persons whose cases were considered for allotment of houses
and names of the persons whose applications were rejected on the ground of
being defective. However, the required affidavit was not filed. During the
pendency of the writ petition, the respondent was allotted a house at Dalpatpur
(Arrah) at an estimated cost of Rs.1,49,370/-. The area of the new house was
1237 sq. feet as against 2250 sq. feet of the houses allotted in 1993 at an
estimated cost of Rs.86,913/-.
At the hearing of the
writ petition, counter-affidavit was filed on behalf of the Board wherein it
was stated that the cost of each of the four houses which were not allotted in
1983 had been worked out as Rs.3,73,719/- as on 31.12.1995. This amount was
arrived at by adding interest for the period from 1.12.1983 to 31.12.1995.
The learned Single
Judge allowed the writ petition on 20.3.1996. He held that the action of the
Board to exclude the writ petitioner from the lottery held in 1983 was wholly
unreasonable, arbitrary and unjustified and accordingly directed the Board to
allot a house to the writ petitioner. On appeal, the Division Bench of the High
Court set aside the order of the learned Single Judge on the premise that
during the pendency of the writ petition, the Board had offered another house
to the writ petitioner, which was not challenged by him.
Having heard the
learned counsel appearing on behalf of the parties and perused the records, we
are of the view that the learned Single Judge was quite justified in allowing
the writ petition because the Board did not offer any valid ground for
excluding the respondent's application at the time of lottery held in 1983.
respondent was neither informed about the so-called defect in the affidavit nor
he was given opportunity to rectify the same. This being the position, the
Division Bench was not justified in setting aside the direction given by the
learned Single Judge.
appeal is allowed, impugned order passed by the Division Bench of the High
Court is set aside and the one passed by the learned Single Judge is restored.