Col. Nikhil Kumar Vs. Smt. L.M. Vas  Insc 335 (31 July 2003)
Babu & G. P. Mathur.
APPEAL NO.620 OF 1998 With Contempt Petition (C) No.354/2001 in C.A. No.5329 of 1996 G.P. Mathur, J.
These petitions have been filed for initiating contempt proceedings against Smt.
L.M. Vas, Vice-Chairman, Ghaziabad Development Authority, Ghaziabad. Lt. Col. Nikhil Kumar is son of
Maj. Gen. Baldev Kumar and he claims to have executed a power of attorney in favour
of his father, who has filed the affidavit in support of the petition. The
controversy raised in both the petitions is identical and, therefore, they are
being disposed of by a common order. For the sake of convenience, we will set
out the facts of Contempt Petition No.353 of 2001.
facts pleaded in the Contempt Petition are as follows. The Ghaziabad
Development Authority issued an advertisement in June 1989 for sale of plots in
Indrapuram Scheme. It was mentioned in the brochure that the possession of the
plots will be given in the year 1991. The petitioner made complete payment of
Rs.508,851/- between 29.7.1989 and 3.12.1992 as per the payment schedule
stipulated by the Authority, but the possession of the plot was not delivered.
The petitioner accordingly filed a compensation application on 13.9.1994 before
the MRTP Commission. The MRTP Commission passed an order on 14.5.1997 directing
the Authority to
physical possession of the plot to the petitioner within four weeks;
interest at the rate of 18% w.e.f. 1.1.1993 till the actual delivery of
possession on the entire amount deposited;
Rs.5,000/- towards mental agony and anxiety; and (4) Rs.5,000/- as costs.
Authority filed Special Leave Petition (C) No.21532 of 1997 (later converted to
Civil Appeal No.620 of 1998) and one of the main pleas taken therein was that
the possession of the plot was offered to the petitioner on 28.2.1995 and he
did not accept the same and the delay in delivery of possession had not taken
place on account of any fault of the Authority. On 2.2.1998, this Court granted
special leave and directed the Authority to offer physical possession of the
plot to the petitioner. The petitioner visited the office of the Authority
number of times but the physical possession of the plot was not delivered to
him. The petitioner also deposited the additional amount of Rs.72,737/- between
June 1997 and 15th May,
1998. However, in
spite of this deposit, the possession was not delivered and the Assistant
Engineer made a note that the leased plan of the plot had not been received
after approval. The petitioner thereafter filed Contempt Petition No.428 of
1998 against the Secretary of the Authority on the ground that he had violated
the order passed by this Court on 2.2.1998. The petitioner continued to contact
the Authority on several occasions and on 27.10.1998 the Assistant Engineer
wrote that as the leased plan had not been received after approval, the
possession cannot be delivered. Civil Appeal No.620 of 1998 was decided by this
Court on 12.5.2000, wherein the order of the MRTP Commission was upheld with
the modification that the interest was reduced to 12% instead of 18%. In para
22 it is averred that the physical possession of the plot has not been
delivered till date.
counter-affidavit in reply to the Contempt Petition has been filed by Smt. L.M.
Vas, Vice-Chairman of Ghaziabad Development Authority. It is averred therein
that it is the petitioner who had raised an issue regarding availability of
site plan and thereby avoided to take possession even after
allotment-cum-possession letter was issued on 28.2.1995. The site plan was
available by 24.11.1998 but the petitioner did not complete the required
formalities and avoided to take possession. Many allottees of the nearby plots
in the same Scheme had been delivered possession commencing from 1996 and this
was done within a few months from the date of issuance of letter offering to
take possession. The area of the plot allotted to the petitioner was more than
350 sq. meters on the spot and, therefore, he was asked to deposit additional
amount towards increase of the area of the plot and also other charges as per
the rules, but he failed to deposit the amount in spite of repeated letters
written to him. In para 3(iv), it is averred that the plot allotted to the
petitioner has been registered in his favour after completion of necessary
formalities and he had taken possession thereof on 8.3.2002. In para 3(v), it
is averred that the orders passed by MRTP Commission as modified by this Court
vide judgment and order dated 12.5.2000 had been complied with and the
Authority had forwarded a cheque of Rs.303,012/- to the petitioner on
19.9.2000. The petitioner was informed on 17.11.2000 that a cheque for the
aforesaid amount had already been sent to him and he should take possession.
Finally, the petitioner's father Maj. Gen. Baldev Kumar had collected the cheque
from the Authority on 26.2.2002. The cheque has been prepared after deducting
10% TDS and 10% surcharge on TDS as per the Income Tax Act.
the rejoinder-affidavit filed on behalf of the petitioner, it is admitted in para
6 that interest at the rate of 12% has been paid by the Authority on the amount
deposited by the petitioner for the period 1.1.1993 to 22.5.1998. However, no
interest has been paid on the amount deposited by the petitioner on 23.6.1997
and 15.5.1998. It is pleaded that the Authority had not refunded Rs.1,793/-
which was the excess premium charged by it on 23.6.1997. It is also pleaded
that the amount of Rs.5,000/- awarded as compensation for mental agony and
Rs.5,000/- as costs by the MRTP Commission had been paid to the petitioner on
25.5.2002 but the said amount had been wrongly deducted from the interest
amount. In para 4 of the additional affidavit, the petitioner has made an
additional claim of Rs.38,857/-.
have heard Shri Prashant Bhushan for the petitioner, Shri Sudhir Kulshreshtha
for the contemnor-respondent and have perused the record.
is not in dispute now that the plot has been registered in favour of the
petitioner and physical possession thereof has been delivered to him on
8.3.2002. It is also not in dispute that Rs.303,012/- has been paid to the
petitioner towards interest amount. Deduction from the interest has been made
as per the provisions of the Income Tax Act. The Authority was bound to comply
with law and deduct 10% TDS and 10% surcharge on TDS as per the Income Tax Act
while making payment of the interest amount.
making deductions as per the provisions of the Income Tax Act, the respondent
cannot be said to have committed contempt of the order passed by this Court as
she is bound to act in accordance with law and statutory provisions regarding
payment of interest. From the material placed on record, it does appear that
possession of nearby plots to several persons in the Scheme was delivered in
1996 and 1997. Copies of several possession letters have been filed along with
the counter-affidavit. The actual area of the plot which was finally allotted
to the petitioner exceeded 350 sq. meters and, therefore, a demand was made
from him to pay the cost of the excess land, lease rent and free-hold charges.
After he had deposited the excess amount, the petitioner was delivered
possession of the plot. On the material on record, we do not think that there
has been any willful disobedience of the order passed by this Court on the part
of the respondent. It appears that the petitioner was also making all kinds of
demands and objections due to which delivery of possession was delayed. The
additional demand made by the petitioner regarding which a calculation has been
given in para 4 of the additional affidavit is not at all understandable. At
any rate if the said amount has not been paid, it cannot form the basis for
initiating contempt proceedings against the respondent.
the result, both the Contempt Petitions lack merit and are hereby dismissed.
The notices issued to the respondent are discharged.