The “lackadaisical and abhorrently unprofessional approach” of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) is “unpardonable”, the Delhi High Court has said while rapping the planning authority for failing to hand over a plot in Rohini to an octogenarian woman, who had applied for it in 1981 and got an allotment letter in 1991.
Upholding a single-bench decision directing the DDA to hand over a 60 sq. metres plot to the woman within four weeks, the division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad said that the facts of the case only demonstrate the harassment of “a poor lady” at the hands of DDA for reasons best known to the officers concerned.
“In view of the harassment caused to the respondent by the DDA for over 30 years and for wasting precious judicial time by filing the instant frivolous appeal, this court is inclined to impose costs of Rs 50,000 on the DDA,” said the court.
The woman, Shail Shukla, had registered for allotment of a plot of land under Rohini Residential Scheme MIG (middle-income group) in 1981 and after draw of lots in March 1991, she was allotted a plot in Pocket-12 of Sector 24, Rohini. A total of Rs 59,805 was sought from her and after adjustment of the amount deposited for registration and interest accrued upon it, she paid the amount of Rs 51,310 in three instalments by 1993.
Since the plot of land was not handed over to her for almost a decade and there was no response from the DDA, out of frustration, in December 2005 she asked the authority to refund her the money. In August 2006, she was asked to meet the Assistant Director, LSB (Land Sales Branch), Rohini and in December 2006, certain documents were sought from her.
Shukla in July 2008 submitted her affidavit about her being the original applicant, the bank account details, original demand-cum-allotment letter, original copies of challans by which the amount was deposited, residence proof, specimen signatures and photograph as well as the copies of correspondence made by DDA. With regard to Original FDR, she said it was submitted back in 1991.
The division bench said after that despite the lapse of six years, the DDA neither handed over the possession of the plot nor did it refund the money. According to the petition, the woman withdrew her application for refund in August 2011 and asked for possession of the allotted land. When DDA declined the request, she approached the court. In June 2012, the court asked the DDA to keep reserved a plot for her in case she succeeds in the case. Accordingly, a plot in Sector-1, Pocket-B of Rohini was kept reserved for her.
The single bench of Justice Najmi Waziri in an order passed in April said, “Three decades have passed since the petitioner was allotted the flat and made all the payments. She is now in the eighth decade of her life and would rather see the fruition of her endeavours in this temporal world. She has established her case for handing over of the plot reserved for her by DDA.”