Flat/plot cannot be allotted on mere sympathy: SC

Last Updated: Monday, August 23, 2010 - 22:58

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has held that
a flat or plot cannot be allotted to a person on mere sympathy
or sentiment unless the allottee fulfils the statutory norms
stipulated in the agreement.

"Sympathy or sentiment by itself cannot be a ground for
passing an order in favour of allottees by the courts nor can
an order be passed in contravention of the statutory
provisions," a Bench of Justices P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan
said in a judgement.

The apex court passed the judgement while quashing a
Punjab and Haryana High Court direction to Greater Mohali Area
Development Authority for allotting a MIG flat to Manju Jain
who failed to deposit the initial deposit amount within the
stipulated 60 days.

"Cancellation of an allotment should be a last resort.
The allotment should not be cancelled unless the intention or
motive on the part of the allottee in not making due payment
is evident. The drastic power of resumption and forfeiture
should be exercised in exceptional cases but that does not
mean that the statutory rights conferring the right on the
authority should never be resorted to.

"In exceptional circumstances, where the allottee does
not make any payment in terms of allotment, the order of
cancellation should be passed.," the apex court said. In the instant case, Madhu Jain had applied for a flat
under the hire purchase scheme on January 27, 1997. After the
draw of lots, she was alloted a MIG flat on November 19,1997.

The authorities subsequently issued the letter of
allotment dated 9th March, 1999, in her favour, which made it
clear that the price of the house was Rs.5,55,200/- and that
she had to send her acceptance of the allotment and deposit 25
per cent of the amount within 60 days of the receipt of the
allotment letter.

However, she did not respond for four years and later
made enquiries about the fate of her flat.

The authority to her query informed her that the
allotment made in her favour stood cancelled as she did not
deposit any amount in pursuance of the allotment letter dated
9th March, 1999.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court, however, directed
the authorities to allot her the flat on the ground that the
letter of allotment was not sent to the correct address
despite the authorities producing sufficient evident to prove
that it was sent to the right address.

Aggrieved, the authorities appealed in the apex court.

Upholding the appeal, the apex court said "it becomes
clear that respondent No.1(Madhu) did not make any response
whatsoever after applying for allotment. No explanation could
be furnished by respondent No.1 for why she kept quiet for 4
years after receiving the allocation letter and why she did
not make any attempt to find out what had happened to her
application.

"Respondent No.1 did not send her acceptance of the
allotment, did not deposit the amount which became due in 1999
itself and did not execute the required hire-purchase
agreement with the appellant-authority. Thus, it is solely for
her that no concluded contract came into existence between the
parties, " the apex court said.

The Bench said that in the present situation, the
authorities rightly rejected her belated claim.

"The court proceeded in haste and decided the case
relying upon irrelevant materials," the Bench said while
quashing the High Court order.

-PTI



First Published: Monday, August 23, 2010 - 22:58

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