CWP Nos. 13105 of 2014 and 9087 of 2015 (O&M). Case: United Breweries Ltd. and Ors. Vs State of Haryana and Ors.. High Court of Punjab (India)

Case NumberCWP Nos. 13105 of 2014 and 9087 of 2015 (O&M)
CounselFor Appellant: Arun Jain, Sr. Advocate and Aruz Khan, Advocate and For Respondents: Deepak Balyan, Addl. A.G.
JudgesSurya Kant and Sudip Ahluwalia, JJ.
IssueHaryana Urban Development Authority Act, 1977 - Sections 15, 17, 17(1), 17(1)(4), 17(3), 17(2), 17(4), 17(5)
Judgement DateJanuary 31, 2017
CourtHigh Court of Punjab (India)


Surya Kant, J.

  1. This order shall dispose of CWP Nos. 13105 of 2014; and 9087 of 2015 which are inter-related as in both the cases, the petitioners seek restoration of allotment of institutional plot No. 45, Sector 32, Gurgaon, in their respective favour.

    Facts common to both the cases:-

  2. M/s. Inertia Industries Ltd. applied to Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) on 31.10.1994 for allotment of an institutional plot of 4000 sq.meter in size in Sector 32, Gurgaon for establishing its corporate office. HUDA accepted its application and vide allotment letter dated 28.06.1995 (P1 in both the cases) allotted plot No. 45, measuring 2035 sq.meters in Sector 32, Gurgaon to M/s. Inertia Industries Ltd.

  3. The tentative cost of the plot was ` 46,80,500/-. The allottee deposited ` 9,31,500/-. The balance amount of ` 37,49,000/- was required to be paid either in lumpsum without interest within 60 days or "in four half-yearly instalments" i.e. each instalment of ` 9,37,250/- approximately. The allottee is said to have subsequently deposited ` 2,38,625/-, ` 2,66,035/- and again ` 2,76,479/-. Not a single instalment of the full amount was thus deposited by the allottee.

  4. It will be useful at this stage to reproduce some of the following relevant terms and conditions of allotment:-

    "6. The balance i.e. Rs. 3510375.00 of the above tentative price of the plot/building can be paid in lump sum without interest within 60 days from the date of issue of allotment letter or in four half yearly instalments. The first instalment will fall due after the expiry of six months of the date of issue of this letter. Each instalment would be recoverable together with interest on the balance price at 15% interest on the remaining amount. If there is delay in the payment of instalment, interest at the rate of 18% per annum shall be charged.

  5. The possession of the site will be offered to you on completion of the development work in the area.

  6. The construction of the building on the institutional plots shall have to be completed by the allottees within 5 years from the date of offer of possession. No rebate in the price of land would be given, even if construction is completed before 5 years.

  7. In case the instalment is not paid by 10th of the month following the month in which it falls due, the Estate Officer shall proceed to take action for imposition of penalty and resumption of plot in accordance with the provisions of Section 17 of the Act.

  8. No separate notice will be sent for the payment of the instalments. However, the information regarding the instalments, the amount the due dates etc. may be sent as a matter of courtesy."

    [emphasis applied]

  9. It may be seen from the terms and conditions of allotment that the allottee was obligated to pay the balance tentative price in four half yearly instalments along with interest @ 15% per annum. It was also required to construct and complete the building in all respects within five years from the date of offer of possession. In the event of default in payment of instalments, the Prescribed Authority was entitled to impose penalty and even resume the plot in accordance with Section 17 of the Haryana Urban Development Authority Act, 1977 (in short, 'the 1977 Act'). Similarly, no separate notice was required to be sent to the allottee for payment of instalments.

  10. The HUDA offered possession of the plot on 23.08.1996 which was actually taken by the allottee on 30.08.1996 but according to the petitioners, only 'symbolic possession' was delivered and the physical possession could not be given due to non-completion of some of the development works and removal of electric poles as well as a B & R department road passing through the plot towards Village Jharsa. Those obstructions were allegedly brought to the notice of HUDA authorities on 12.08.1997 (P4) and the same were finally removed only in March, 2000. On this premise, the petitioners claim that the period of five years within which construction was required to be completed commenced in March, 2000 only.

  11. From this stage onwards, both the petitioners have a different and contradictory tale to tell. Hence their facts are being noticed separately.

    CWP-13105-2014 (M/s. United Breweries Ltd. vs. State of Haryana & Ors.)

  12. The petitioner has averred that the original-allottee was engaged in the business of manufacturing and sale of beer from its manufacturing unit located at Dharuhera (Haryana). The said factory had to be closed down in 1996 due to promulgation of Prohibition policy in the State of Haryana. The allottee came under heavy debts payable to various banks, NBFs and other trade creditors. Several Court cases including winding up petitions were also filed against it. The allottee-company too filed a petition under Section 391(1) of the Companies Act, 1956 in the High Court of Delhi for settlement of dues of its creditors. The matter was referred to BIFR. At that juncture, the United Breweries Group, then known as M/s. Millennium Beer Industries Ltd., took over the allottee-company in the year 2000-01.

  13. M/s. Millennium Beer Industries Ltd. later on changed its name to M/s. United Breweries Ltd., namely, petitioner-company (in short, 'the UBL').

  14. HUDA, however, declined to transfer the plot in favour of UBL as there was no policy in vogue at that time for transferring an institutional plot. Nevertheless, it is averred that once the controlling stakes of the allottee-company were taken over by the UB Group, the original promoters of the allottee-company ceased to have any locus standi to raise any claim or seek transfer of the plot in question.

  15. The allottee-company was declared a 'sick industry' by BIFR in July, 2006 and it being not in a position to pay the allotment price, submitted a letter dated 20.10.2005 to HUDA expressing its intention to surrender the plot.

  16. The allottee-company then came to know from the daily newspaper. The Tribune dated 26.04.2007 that the subject plot had been transferred in the name of M/s. Icon Investment Ltd. (the petitioner in the second case) against which the allottee-company lodged its protest on 20.06.2007 but its objections were turned down on 19.05.2008 (P8).

  17. Meanwhile, the Estate Officer-II, HUDA, Gurgaon issued notice under Section 17(4) of the 1977 Act alleging failure of the allottee to raise construction within a period of five years from the date of offer of possession i.e. 30.08.1996 and as to why the allotment be not cancelled and plot be not resumed. The allottee-company contested the show cause notice but overlooking its objections, the Estate Officer-II passed the order dated 20.02.2009 (P11) whereby the plot in dispute was resumed.

  18. The allottee-company filed statutory appeal before the Administrator, HUDA on 12.03.2009. While its appeal was pending, HUDA is said to have, vide memo dated 09.06.2009, granted extension in time limit for raising construction in respect of all the institutional plots in Sector 32, Gurgaon, whereby, the allottees were permitted to complete the construction by 31.12.2010 subject to payment of double the extension fee.

  19. At this stage, the allottee-company thought of paying the balance allotment price to HUDA and sought the permission of BIFR whereupon BIFR permitted the...

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