M/s A.B.N.A. and Ors.
Versus The Managing Director, M/s. U.P.S.I.D.C. Limited, Kanpur& ANR.
Petition (C) Nos. 16116-16117 of 2010]
O R D E R
A. K. PATNAIK, J.
are petitions under Article 136 of the Constitution for leave to appeal against
the order dated 04.03.2009 of the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices
Commission, New Delhi, (for short ‘the MRTP Commission’) in Review Application No.16
of 2007 and the order dated05.01.2010 of the Competition Appellate Tribunal, New
Delhi, in Review Application No.06 of 2009.
facts very briefly are that the respondents published an advertisement in the
Hindustan Times, New Delhi inviting applications from entrepreneurs for
allotment of industrial land in Greater NOIDA on payment of 10% of the cost of
allotted land. In response to the advertisement, the petitioners applied for a
plot and on 05.03.1994 a plot of 800 square metres in Site-C was allotted. The
petitioners paid 10% of the cost of the plot on 23.03.1994. However, physical
possession of the plot was not given to the petitioners on the ground that the
petitioners had not paid all the dues for the plot.
The petitioners then
filed a complaint UTPE No.119 of2000 before the MRTP Commission and after notice
to the respondents the complaint was heard from time to time. While the complaint
was pending, petitioners filed I.A. No.18 of 2004 before the MRTP Commission to
take possession of the allotted plot. On 13.09.2007, the MRTP Commission passed
an order directing that the respondent shall handover possession of the allotted
plot within next two weeks to the complainant and as regards the balance
amount, if any due, the respondents shall submit a detailed chart giving the
dates on which the subsequent installments were due and the amount payable on
each due date.
By the order dated 13.09.2007,
the MRTP Commission also directed the petitioners to furnish a fresh SSI certificate
to the respondents and directed that the matter be listed on 01.11.2007 for further
directions. Instead of handing over possession of the allotted plot to the
petitioners, the respondents filed Review Application No.16 of2007 on
18.12.2007 and by the impugned order dated 04.03.2009 the MRTP Commission
allowed the Review Application and recalled the order dated13.09.2007 insofar
as it directed the respondents to handover possession of the plot to the petitioners.
Aggrieved, the petitioners filed Review Application No.06 of 2009 before the
Competition Appellate Tribunal and by the impugned order dated 05.01.2010, the Competition
Appellate Tribunal dismissed the Review Application of the petitioners.
petitioner No.3, who appeared in-person and argued on behalf of the
petitioners, submitted that the order dated 13.09.2007 of the MRTP Commission directing
the respondents to handover physical possession of the allotted plot to the
petitioners was a consent order as it was passed on the consent of the two
advocates appearing for the respondents, namely, Mr.Shakti Singh Dhakray and
Mr. D.K. Sharma. He submitted that the order dated 13.09.2007 of the MRTP
Commission being a consent order, the same could not have been reviewed by the
MRTP Commission and on this ground the impugned order dated 04.03.2009 of the
MRTP Commission recalling the order dated 13.09.2007 in Review Application
No.16 of 2007 is illegal and is liable to be set aside.
He further submitted
that Review Application No.16 of 2007 was filed before the MRTP Commission by the
respondents on18.12.2007 more than thirty days period prescribed for filing of
the Review Application. He submitted that by the time Review Application No.16 of2007
was filed, the petitioners had filed contempt petition for violation of the
order dated 18.12.2007 as well as a petition for executing the order dated 18.12.2007
before the MRTP Commission. He submitted that the MRTP Commission should not
have entertained the Review Application after such long delay.
He finally submitted
that the stand taken by the respondents in Review Application No.16 of 2007 was
that the MRTP Commission had no jurisdiction to direct the respondents to
handover possession of the plot to the petitioners but there are decisions of this
Court which make it clear that the MRTP Commission has the power to even direct
handing over possession to the complainant.
counsel for the respondents, on the other hand, submitted that the order dated
13.09.2007 of the MRTP Commission was an interim order and the MRTP Commission has
rightly held in the impugned order dated 04.03.2009 that it could not have
directed the respondents by an interim order to handover possession of the plot
to the petitioners as this was the final relief claimed by the petitioners in
the complaint before the MRTP Commission.
Relying on the
decision of this Court in Ghaziabad Development Authority v. Ved Prakash
Aggarwal [(2008) 7 SCC 686], he submitted that the MRTP Commission has no power
to direct handing over possession of the plot to the complainant and it is only
the Civil Court which could while granting a decree of specific enforcement of the
contract direct the defendants to handover possession to the plaintiffs.
He submitted that the
order dated 13.09.2007 passed by the MRTP Commission directing handing over
possession of the plot to the complainant is thus without jurisdiction. He
submitted that this Court in Kiran Singh and Others vs. Chaman Paswan and others
(AIR 1954 SC 340) has held that an order without jurisdiction is a nullity and
can be challenged in collateral proceedings. In reply to the submission on behalf
of the petitioners that Review Application No. 16 of 2007 was filed beyond 30
days and belatedly, he submitted that under Section 13(2) of the MRTP Act, the MRTP
Commission has the power to revoke any order passed by it “at any time”.
deciding the contention raised on behalf of the petitioners that the order
dated 13.09.2007 of the MRTP Commission was a consent order, we must look at
the order dated 13.09.2007 of the MRTP Commission, which is quoted here in below:
“We have heard the arguments for some time of the parties. The parties are at
issue regarding the balance amount payable by the complainant to the respondent
towards balance installments or interest thereon.
The other controversy
is regarding the formalities namely certificate of SSI Registration and a NOC from
Pollution Control Department of the State. Earlier the complainant had submitted
a provisional SSI certificate which is already expired. Complainant now
undertakes to furnish the fresh SSI certificate to the respondent positively
within one month. Respondent shall handover the possession within next two
weeks thereafter to the complainant. As regards the balance amount if any due,
the respondents shall submit a detailed chart giving the dates at which the subsequent
installments were due and amount payable on each due date.
It has been pointed
out by the learned counsel for the respondent that the complainant should hand
over these documents to Mr. Dinesh Jain, Legal Adviser of UPSIDC at Surajpur Office
with intimation to the counsel for the respondent who will ensure that the possession
is delivered to the complainant within next two weeks. The SSI certificate earlier
submitted by the complainant was provisional and has already expired. Therefore,
an issuance of that certificate by the concerned authority will not stand in the
way of their issuing a fresh SSI certificate.
The General Manager, District
Industry Centre, Greater NOIDA is directed to issue the SSI certificate at the earliest
after compliance of the necessary formalities. A copy of the order be given
“dasti” to the complainant. List on 1st November, 2007 for further directions. Sd./-
(Hon’ble J. Sri O.P. Dwivedi, Chairman) & (Sri D.C. Gupta, Member)”On a
reading of the order of the order dated 13.09.2007, we do not find that the
directions in the said order to the respondents to handover thepossession of
the plot to the petitioners was based on the consent of the learned Advocates
appearing for the respondents and this is what has been held by the MRTP
Commission also in the impugned order dated 04.03.2009.Thus, the contention of
the petitioners that the order dated 13.09.207 of the MRTP Commission was a
consent order is misconceived.
is not disputed by the petitioners that Review Application No. 16 of 2007 was
entertained by the MRTP Commission under sub-section (2) of Section 13 of the
MRTP Act. Sub-section (2) of Section 13 of the MRTP Act is quoted herein below:
“13(2) Any order made by the Commission may be amended or revoked at any time
in the manner in which it was made.”The language of sub-section (2) of Section
13 makes it clear that the MRTP Commission may amend or revoke any order in the
manner in which it was made“at any time”. The expression “at any time” would
mean that no limitation has been prescribed by the legislature for the MRTP
Commission to amend or revoke an order passed by it.
Hence, the argument on
behalf of the petitioners that the MRTP Commission could not have entertained the
Review Application for recalling the order dated 13.09.2007 beyond the period of30
days has no foundation in law. Moreover, the order dated 13.09.2007 of the MRTP
Commission on its plain reading was only an interim order and the MRTP
Commission could modify or revoke the interim order directing the respondents
to handover physical possession of the plot to the petitioners if it thought
that such a direction could only be considered at the time of finally deciding
the complaint. We therefore do not find any infirmity in the order dated
04.03.2009 of the MRTP Commission recalling the direction to handover physical
possession of the allotted plot to the petitioner saying that this direction can
be considered at the stage of final adjudication of the complaint.
a perusal of the impugned order dated 04.03.2009, however, we find that
although the respondents cited the judgment of this Court in Ghaziabad
Development Authority v. Ved Prakash Aggarwal (supra) and contended before the
MRTP Commission that the MRTP Commission had no authority to order handing over
of possession and that the jurisdiction was only with the Civil Court to order specific
performance of the contract, the MRTP Commission has observed that this
contention cannot be dealt with while passing the interim order and can only be
decided at the time of final adjudication of the complaint. Hence, we are not called
upon to decide the question whether the MRTP Commission has power to direct handing
over the possession of the plot to the complainant and this question can be
decided by the MRTP Commission at the stage of final adjudication of the
the result, we do not find any merit in these Special Leave Petitions and
accordingly we decline to grant special leave to the petitioners to appeal
against the order dated 04.03.2009 of the MRTP Commission and the order dated
05.01.2010 of the Competition Appellate Tribunal. The Special Leave Petitions
are dismissed with no order as to costs.
(A. K. Patnaik)