Allotment gone wrong,DDA to pay up

When Sirish Chandra Sharma applied for a flat under the Delhi Development Authority housing scheme in 1980,he could hardly imagine the trouble that lay ahead.

Written by Ayesha Arvind | New Delhi | Published: March 11, 2009 11:36 pm

Agency sends allotment papers to wrong address in the wrong name

When Sirish Chandra Sharma applied for a flat under the Delhi Development Authority housing scheme in 1980,he could hardly imagine the trouble that lay ahead. Over two decades after paying the upfront registration fee for an LIG flat,Sharma,73,is still waiting for his dream house,all because the DDA sent his allotment papers to a wrong address and in the wrong name.

Coming to his aid,the State Consumer Commission has now taken the authority to task for “deficiency in service”,and has directed the authorities to either re-allot a similar flat to Sharma or pay him a sum of Rs 10 lakh as compensation.

Sharma had applied for an LIG flat under the DDA’s New Pattern Housing Scheme in July 1980. For the next 26 years,however,he received no information regarding further formalities from the DDA.

Sharma finally contacted the authorities in 2006,seeking information on the status of the allotment. He was then told that he had been allotted a flat in Mayur Vihar in 2004 but the same was later cancelled as “the papers were returned undelivered.”

Sharma had changed his residential address in 1998 and had informed the DDA about the change through registered post. It was later revealed that the DDA had sent the allotment papers in the name of Girish Chandra Sharma,instead of Sirish Chandra Sharma,to Sharma’s previous address. The same was thus returned undelivered.

Realising the error,Sharma then approached the DDA for restoration of the cancellation but the latter refused to consider his case. The authorities instead claimed they had not received any information regarding the change of address.

Slamming the public body for its “negligence”,the State Commission held the DDA guilty of not affecting the change in address and noted that the DDA should have made the effort of delivering the documents personally to Sharma.

Commission President Justice J D Kapoor said: “In our view,there is also negligence on the part of the respondent (Sirish,who should have checked with the DDA regarding whether they received the letter on the change of address) but it has resulted in depriving him of a shelter in spite of having been allotted an accommodation. We have been impressing upon service providers like the DDA that a demand-cum-allotment letter is a very valuable piece of communication and should be sent to the right person. When such a letter is returned undelivered,effort should be made to see that the letter is delivered to the person personally.”

He directed the DDA to pay the compensation or re-allot a flat to Sharma depending on the latter’s convenience.

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