HC slaps Rs 20,000 cost on DDA on contempt plea
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday imposed a cost of Rs 20,000 on DDA in a contempt plea against its officials for "harassing" a man for several years over returning the excess amount charged from him for allotment of a flat under a 1999 scheme.
The court also directed the department to pay the amount to the man in four weeks and accepted the unconditional apology tendered by the officers.
Justice G S Sistani disposed of a contempt petition filed by Jayabrata Bhattacharjee against the DDA officials for their failure to comply with the high court's 1999 order directing them to return the excess money they had demanded from him under the 5th Self Financing Scheme while allotting a flat within four weeks.
Referring to the Supreme Court rulings, the court said, "It has been held that court should be slow in exercising the power of punishing a person for guilty of contempt unless the act is deliberate and intentional."
"Since the respondents (DDA officials) herein have purged their contempt and also tendered an unqualified apology...The same is accepted but having regard to the facts that number of years spent by the petitioner in court and taking into consideration the harassment which the petitioner had to undergo, the present petition is disposed of with a cost of Rs 20,000 to be paid by them to the petitioner in four weeks," the court said.
During the course of hearing of the contempt plea, DDA had returned Rs 94,976 in the form of cheque to the petitioner.
According to the contempt plea, Bhattacharjee said in 1999
he had approached the high court seeking quashing of DDA's demand letter asking him to pay the excess amount for the allotment of the flat.
The high court had directed DDA to recompute the price of each flat allotted within four weeks and return the excess amount.
In 2007, the same order was upheld by the apex court which had rejected DDA's appeal against the Delhi High Court order.
Following the order, the petitioner had approached the department for the money.
Despite several representations and attempts including meeting with the concerned senior officers of DDA, the money was not returned following which he filed the contempt petition in 2009.