Misc. Bench No. 3606 of 2012. Case: Aharwas Singh Vs Lucknow Development Authority. Allahabad High Court

Case Number:Misc. Bench No. 3606 of 2012
Party Name:Aharwas Singh Vs Lucknow Development Authority
Counsel:For Appellant: D.K. Mishra, Adv. and For Respondents: U.N. Mishra, N.C. Mehrotra and Rajesh Singh Chauhan, Advs.
Judges:Devi Prasad Singh and Arvind Kumar Tripathi (II), JJ.
Issue:Constitution of India - Articles 14, 226
Judgement Date:September 12, 2014
Court:Allahabad High Court


Arvind Kumar Tripathi (II), J.

1. Heard Sri D.K. Mishra, learned counsel for the petitioner and Sri N.C. Mehrotra, learned counsel for the respondents.

2. This is yet another case in which Lucknow Development Authority, after advertising scheme for allotment of plots in Gomti Nagar Extension Scheme, and after making allotment and taking deposit of the entire amount from the public, has failed to deliver possession and execute the sale deed even after a lapse of more than seven years, while keeping the money in its accounts and earning interest or utilizing it in other schemes and getting benefits. On account of inaction of the Lucknow Development Authority, the poor allottee was running from pillar to post for getting possession of the plot while the Lucknow Development Authority, on one pretext or other, is delaying or refusing the delivery of possession to the allottee.

3. As per factual matrix of the case, petitioner applied for a plot in Gomti Nagar Extension on 18.5.2004 and deposited Rs. 50,000/- in the shape of demand draft in favour of Secretary of the Lucknow Development Authority. Petitioner was allotted a plot in Sector-6 of Gomti Nagar Extension measuring 115.50 Sq. Mtrs. bearing property no. 6/315 through lottery system on 28.2.2005. Allotment letter was dispatched only on paper as it never reached the petitioner as alleged by him. However, the petitioner after being aware of the allotment of plot in his favour, deposited the 3 installments at the tune of Rs. 1,71,170/- on 21.10.2005. 4th, 5th, 6th installments of Rs. 50,935/- each was deposited on 30.11.2005, 27.7.2006 and 31.7.2006 respectively. Petitioner deposited Rs. 1,50,000/- in advance on 18.12.2006. An amount of Rs. 2,805/- was also deposited same day on account of the difference of the installment. Last installment was due on 28.2.2007, but the same was paid in advance on 18.12.2006. Grievance of the petitioner is that in spite of payment of the entire amount neither the Lucknow Development Authority transferred possession of the land and nor executed the sale deed even after lapse of more than six years. The Lucknow Development Authority is now taking stand that there is a dispute with regard to possession in their favour in Sector 6 of the scheme. Later on, vide application dated 18.10.2011 petitioner requested to the Lucknow Development Authority that if there is some dispute regarding land of Sector 6 he may be allotted another other plot in Sector-3, 4 or 5 of the same Scheme measuring same area and if same area is not available any bigger vacant plot may be allotted and he is ready to pay the difference existing in the year 2012. Petitioner again requested the officers of the Lucknow Development Authority on 5.5.2012 for the same, but he did not receive any reply or assurance. By filing the petition, the petitioner has prayed that writ in the nature of mandamus be issued commanding the opposite parties to handover the possession of plot no. 315, type D, situated in Sector No. 6, Gomti Nagar Extension, Lucknow. In the alternative, it was also prayed that writ order or direction be issued in the nature of Mandamus commanding the opposite parties to give possession of another plot in the same scheme in Sector No. 3, 4 or 5 in the Gomti Nagar Extension equal to the plot already allotted to him and if a bigger plot was available, then that plot be allotted and possession be handed over to the petitioner who is ready to pay the difference of amount existing in the year 2014.

4. Counter affidavit by Authority was filed and it was averred that on account of resentment and strong opposition of the villagers of the area, development work could not be started and therefore the authority could not hand over the possession of plot allotted to the petitioner and due to this, sale deed could not be executed. The Lucknow Development Authority have at present no alternative land therefore the allotted plot of the petitioner could not be adjusted at any other place. However, if the petitioner so desires, as per procedure prescribed under the Rules. Petitioner has not deposited the installments within stipulated time and delayed payments was made. The allotment of the plot to the petitioner has not been cancelled and it is very much in force but due to unavoidable circumstances neither registered sale deed could be executed, nor alternative plot can be offered.

5. It was submitted by learned counsel for the petitioner that by not giving possession of plot in question after taking deposit of entire price of the plot in the year 2006 itself not only amount to arbitrary exercise of powers but also amounts to unjust enrichment of the Lucknow Development Authority on the amount deposited by allottee. It has been also submitted that burden lies on the Lucknow Development Authority to take possession and develop the plot after acquisition and if there was any dispute after acquisition, the Lucknow Development Authority should have resorted to the means available with it to get it free of dispute. It was further submitted that counter affidavit is silent about the steps taken by Lucknow Development Authority after the publication of scheme in the year 2005 to develop land and for making it free of dispute. It was further submitted that the Lucknow Development Authority could not have published the scheme for allotment without having been in possession of the land.

6. On the other hand, learned counsel for the Lucknow Development Authority vehemently defended the stand of the Lucknow Development Authority on the ground that in spite of all efforts done by the Lucknow Development Authority possession with regard to the plot allotted to the petitioner could not be given on account of some resentment and obstruction of the villagers and the petitioner can take his money back as per rules.

7. From perusal of the writ petition, counter affidavit and rejoinder affidavit it is evident that this fact has been deliberately not mentioned in counter affidavit as to whether the Lucknow Development Authority was in clear possession over the land for which they advertised and accepted money and issued allotment letter. It is also not averred as to when did the resentment broke out and whether it was prior to or after the acquisition or after advertisement, allotment and accepting money. It is also not mentioned that as to whether the obstacle in developing the land has been resolved or not. It has also not been mentioned that what is the status of the land so acquired by State for the Lucknow Development Authority. Considering the spiraling prices of land and mushrooming of high rise apartments in Lucknow particularly in the area in question, it is unthinkable that a vast area of land should have remained unutilized for more than seven years. It is very strange and painful to note that the Lucknow Development Authority has...

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