Chawla & Anr Vs. State of U.P. & Ors  INSC 34 (13 February 1990)
Rangnath Misra Rangnath Punchhi, M.M. Agrawal, S.C.
1990 SCR (1) 325 1990 SCC (2) 149 JT 1990 (1) 194 1990 SCALE (1)161
Acquisition Act, 1894: Section 4(1)--NOIDA--Land acquired by cooperative
housing societies prior to notifica- tion in favour of Development
cooperative housing societies comprising of the petitioners and others had
acquired lands in the trans- Jamuna area of Uttar Pradesh prior to the setting
up of the New Okhla Industrial Development Authority in 1976. When the said
lands came to be notified for the Development Authority writ petitions were
filed in 1983 under Article 32 of the Constitution for quashing the
acquisition. In its order dated January 14, 1985 the Court had directed the Authority to hand over actual
possession of plots to allottees in- volved in the dispute. Since a dispute had
arisen as to the eligibility of a large number of applicants who had failed to
keep to the time schedule in the matter of payment the Court in its interim
order dated September
2, 1983 had directed
the Authority to reserve 269 acres of land in addition to the land already
allotted. The petitioners in the instant case belong to this category.
total number of persons entitled to allotment has been determined at 2,380. The
Authority's scheme for the petitioners had stipulated four sizes of plots viz.
112.5 sq. metres, 162 sq. metres, 202.5 sq. metres and 250 sq. metres. They,
therefore, claimed an area of 130 acres out of the 269 acres set apart for
them. The Authority, however, sought to reduce this area to 90 acres and the
plot area to 77.73, 112.3, 140.45 and 173.53 sq. metres respectively.
of the petitions, the Court.
If the scaling down from 130 acres to 90 acres is to be done the plots are
bound to be of odd sizes and work- ing out may be difficult. Therefore, instead
of 90 acres of land the total area to be released on that account should be
96.29 acres and the different sizes of plots as provided in the scheme shall
stand reduced to 100 sq. metres, 326 130 sq. metres, 150 sq. metres and 180 sq.
metres respec- tively. 71 decimals of land should also be set apart for the
other applicants being dealt with separately. The plots are to be developed by
the Authority in accordance with the norms laid down, and allotted within a
period of nine months beginning from 1st of March, 1990. [329H-330F, 331F]
Prices have gone up in every sphere. To bind the Author- ity by the terms of
its scheme at this point of time would not at all be fair. These 2,380 persons
have already depos- ited huge amounts of money said to be about five crores of
rupees with the Authority and the money has been held on account without utilisation,
as no final decision had been taken. The current rate per square metre is Rs.1,200.
Taking into consideration the fact that the members have waited too long for
allotment of their plots, the Authority should be permitted to charge Rs.1,O00
per square metre. Every member who has deposited any sum of money with the
Authority against proposed allotment shall ble entitled to 12% inter- est on
such amount from the date of deposit till the actual allotment and such
interest accrued in favour of the person shall be entitled to adjustment
against actual price of land to be worked out @ Rs. 1,000 per square metre.
Balance amount, if any, shah have to be paid by every person includ- ed in the
figure or 2,380 within three months from the date of the order in monthly instalments.
Failure to pay any of the instalments within the time limit indicated shall dis-
qualify such person from allotment. The terms in regard to allotment for the
remaining few persons shall also be the same. [330G-331E]
JURISDICTION: Writ Petition No. 975 of 1986.
Article 32 of the Constitution of India).
V.C. Mahajan, S. Markandaya, G.S. Rao, Sreepal Singh and Ms. Kusum Chowdhary
for the Petitioners.
R N. Trivedi, S.C. Batra and Raju Ramachandran for the Respondents.
Judgment of the Court was delivered by RANGANATH MISRA, J. The dispute in this
group of writ petitions under Article 32 of the Constitution relates to
allotment of land for residential purposes by New Okhla Industrial Development
Authority (shortly known as 'NOIDA').
is a trans-Jamuna housing project set up by the Uttar Pradesh Government in the
year 327 1976. Prior to the setting up of the NOIDA, the Defence Services
Cooperative Housing Society Ltd. and other socie- ties had acquired lands in
the area for purposes of housing of their members and when the same came to be
notified for acquisition for NOIDA, writ petition No. 9034 of 1983 was filed
challenging the acquisition; the federation also filed a separate writ petition
being 1588 of 1984. Some other writ petitions by the different parties were
also filed. On 14th
January, 1985, after
hearing parties a Bench of this Court inter alia made the following directions:
sides presented a fair and nearly accurate picture of the present situation.
Spirit of re-conciliation rather than confrontation prevailed all throughout.
All reasonable suggestions emanating from both sides either accepted or
seriously considered by both sides with a view to implement- ing the scheme
under which plots were to be allotted. Only three points remain which
necessitated court's intervention.
examined them we direct:
NOIDA shall hand over actual possession of plots to each allottee of each
society involved in the dispute. To identi- fy them a list setting out their
names has to be supplied within six weeks from today.
Mr. G.L. Sanghi, learned counsel urged that NOIDA will be entitled to
escalation charges for the year 1981 and 1982 which works out at the rate of
Rs.20 per square metre. He repeatedly pointed out that the NOIDA would be
entitled to the same under the scheme. May be there was substance in the
submission. However, having regard to the fact that a sum of Rs.5.50 crores has
already been deposited by the allottees with the NOIDA for some time and as the
scheme had not been implemented as per time schedule provided in the scheme
itself, to meet possession of plot to each allottee had to be handed over some
where in 1982 and which would be now done in 1985 pursuant to the directions
yet without setting a precedent and having regard to the facts of this case and
special circumstances pointed out to this Court with regard to the present
position, we are of the opinion that the NOIDA is not entitled to escalation charges
for the year 1981 and 1982.
The third point of a minor difference was that a special 328 charge has to be
paid by all allottees whose plots are said to be situated at a comparable
advantageous position, such as, corner plots, plots abutting to the main road
or both etc. There may be advantage in taking the corner plot or a plot
abutting on the road, but that is fortuitous and not be one's volitional
selection. Having regard to the special facts of this case and the element of
luck in getting a particular plot we direct that the NOIDA would not be enti- tled
to collect special charge or anything extra for such plots. We order
further pointed out that there were some applicants who applied for the plots
but who failed to keep to the time schedule in the matter of payment. If the
number of such applicants had not been very large, the Court would have
examined each case. But the number of such applicants appears to be quite big.
Sorabjee, learned counsel, in this con- nection pointed out that under the
interim order of this Court dated September 3, 1988, amongst others NOIDA was directed to reserve 269 acres of
land in sectors 41 and 42 or in adjoining sectors in addition to the land
already allotted to the petitioners. Therefore, their cases deserve
consideration as requisite area of land is available.
suggestion of the Court Mr. G.L. Sanghi, learned counsel agrees to appoint Shri
Z.H. Kazmi, Law Assistant Registrar (Housing), Lucknow who would be specifi- cally
directed to look into the case of each such applicant and decide whether any
one deserves allotment avoiding technical approach and by approaching the
matter from the angle of social justice with broad vision. If there is any
dispute which cannot be resolved liberty to move this Court .......... "
On 16th December, 1985, the following order was made:
parties are agreed that the dispute in regard to pay- ment of interest and the
eligibility for allotment of plots may be decided by Shri D.A. Desai, Chairman,
Law Commission, as mediator and not as Arbitrator. The parties agree that
whatever decision is given by Shri D.A. Desai 329 will be accepted by them as
binding and there will be no question of challenging it in any form whatsoever.
The parties also agree that simultaneous with the execution of documents
possession of the plots shall be forthwith handed over to those who are
admitted as eligible for allotment and interest shall be paid by them at the
rate of 15% per annum from the date of the order made by this Court, namely,
2.4.1985, subject to adjustment one way or the other accord- ing to the
decision which may be given by Shri D.A. Desai." The decision contemplated
by the December order took some time to be given and the report furnished to
this Court came to be hotly debated. More than three years have been taken on
that account. It is unnecessary to deal with the different problems which arose
in the proceedings before this Court after submission of the report till the
matter has been heard in the third week of January this year.
suggested to Mr. Thakur, learned counsel appearing for the Federation of
Co-operative Housing Societies and Mr.
learned Additional Advocate General of Uttar Pra- desh appearing for NOIDA and
counsel appearing for the different parties to sit across the table and work
out an acceptable modality by which the problem could be best answered and we
are happy to note that their efforts have been to a large extent successful and
the scope of what at one time appeared to be an unending dispute had now been
substantially reduced and confined to certain issues which require to be dealt
with by this order of ours.
agreed that the total number of persons who are entitled to allotment is 2,380
and the Federation represent- ing the various cooperative societies has drawn
up the particulars of these 2,380 applicants. At the hearing, counsel and NOIDA
authorities present in Court had agreed to allotment of 90 acres out of the 269
acres set apart by this Court's earlier order.
written note submitted by Mr. Thakur it has been brought to our notice that if
their initial requirement of 130 acres is reduced to 90 acres, a plot of 112.5
square metres will have to be scaled down to 77.73; similarly a plot of 162
square metres will have to be reduced to 112.3 square metres; a plot of 202.5
square metres will have to be reduced to 140.45 square metres; and a plot of
250 square metres will have to be reduced to 173.59 square metres. It has not
been disputed that the four categories of plots were stipulated in the scheme.
If this scaling down is to be done the plots are 330 bound to be of odd sizes
and working out may be difficult.
have, therefore, decided that instead of 90 acres of land the total area to be
released on that account should be 96.29 acres in all and different sizes of
plots as provided in the scheme shall stand reduced to the sizes indicated
As per scheme Plots now to be allotted (Sq. metres} (Sq. metres)
180 Apart from 2,380 eligible allottees there are separate applications which
are before the Court already and are being dealt with separately. To meet their
claims we are of the view that 71 decimals should also be set apart and the
same would be subject to such orders as the Court may ulti- mately make in
these cases. In the event of any area being unallotted the same would revert
back to NOIDA.
plots to be allotted are to be developed by NOIDA.
the federation and the other petitioners wanted that a three months' limit
should be fixed it has been pleaded on behalf of the NOIDA that the time limit
should be two years.
is a limit to waiting and human patience and the span of the life of the
applicants is not available to be extend- ed by NOIDA. Taking an overall
picture of the matter we direct that a period of nine months beginning from 1st
of March, 1990, is the limit within which developed plots shall be allotted to
the 2,380 entitled persons now represented by the Federation and such other
persons as referred to above.
next relevant point for consideration is what should be the price to be paid.
We have already indicated that this Court in its order dated 14th January, 1985, had not agreed for any escalation
charges. More than five years have since been rolled by. Turn of events have
taken an unwieldy course. Prices have gone up in every sphere and the rupee has
lost its value over the years. To bind NOIDA by the terms of its scheme at this
point of time would not at all be fair. We may point 331 out at this stage that
these 2,380 persons have already deposited huge amounts of money said to be
about five crores of rupees with NOIDA and the money has been held on account
without utilisation, as no final decision had been taken.
this money must be fetching interest. Mr. Rama- chandran learned counsel
appearing for NOIDA has indicated that current rate per square metre is Rs.
1,200. Taking into consideration the fact that these 2,380 members have waited
too long for allotment of their plots, we are of the view that NOIDA should be
permitted to charge @ Rs. 1,000 per square metre. Every member who has
deposited any sum of money with NOIDA against proposed allotment shall be enti-
tled to 12% interest on such amount from the date of deposit till the actual
allotment and such interest accrued in favour of the person shall be entitled
to adjustment of such interest against actual price of land to be worked out @ Rs.
1,000 per square metre. Balance amount, if any, shall have to be paid by every
person included in the figure of 2,380 within three months from now in monthly instalments.
The 1st instalment is to be paid on or before 31st March, 1990; the 2nd instalment
to be paid on or before 30th April, 1990; and the 3rd instalment to be paid on
or before 31st May, 1990.
shall be the obligation of the Federation to duly notify every member of the
direction and the time factor forthwith as failure to pay any of these instalments
within the time limit indicated above shall disqualify such person from
allotment and NOIDA would thereafter be only obliged to refund the money lying
to the credit of the defaulter with bank rate of interest. The terms in regard
to allotment for the remaining few persons as stated above shall also be the same.
planning in NOIDA is said to be in accordance with the norms laid down by
itself and the same are prescribed by the Board of which the Chief Town and
Country Planner of Uttar Pradesh is a member. We direct that all the norms laid
down by NOIDA in the matter of development shall be strictly followed.
Supervision of this operation of course shall be by NOIDA but we hope and trust
that the federation of the different societies would cooperate with NOIDA in
order reserving 269 acres of land is vacated, sub- ject to the allotments
indicated. The writ petition is disposed of with these directions. There shall
be no order as to costs.
Petitions disposed of.