DDA system of allotting flats to SC/ST applicants outside Delhi unfair: HC

The Delhi Development Authority drew flak from the High Court on Monday for a lottery system which pits a slum-dweller of the Capital against affluent applicants from other states for a flat.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:February 10, 2009 1:00 am

The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) drew flak from the High Court on Monday for a lottery system which pits a slum-dweller of the Capital against affluent applicants from other states for a flat.

“It is so unjust that a person living in a jhuggi-jhopdi,who is virtually getting a lifetime opportunity to live in a house in Delhi,has to compete with a person from other states having at least 10 properties,” a Division Bench led by Chief Justice AP Shah said.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Prem Chand of Dilshad Garden here,through his lawyer K V Dhananjay,against the DDA Housing Scheme 2008,which puts Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes (SC/ST) applicants from outside Delhi on par with their counterparts domiciled in the Capital.

Over 5,000 flats were put up for allotment under the scheme,of which 17.5 per cent were earmarked for the Scheduled Castes. The court on Monday directed the DDA to give a break-up of the number of SC/ST allottees from within Delhi and those from outside the state.

The Bench drew the agency’s attention to a Supreme Court ruling that reserved caste certificates obtained from one state need not be recognised in another.

“One cannot go to another state for employment and claim the benefits of the same caste certificate. Those benefits vanish in the new territory,” the Bench observed.

The case has been posted for further hearing on February 17.

Rajeev Bansal,counsel for the DDA,attacked Chand’s contention saying the latter was an unsuccessful allottee who had initially accepted the scheme’s terms.

Chand had moved the High Court for an interim stay on the allotment of houses under the specific reserved category for Scheduled Castes.

The petition had blamed the government agency of surpassing its jurisdiction by “inviting applications from Scheduled Caste applicants outside the National Capital Territory” without a thought for similar members of the “oppressed castes” domiciled in Delhi.

The Dilshad Garden resident,who lost out in the lottery for a flat under the reserved category,termed the scheme as “discriminatory” and devoid of any “a rational relation to the needs and aspirations of the people resident or domiciled in Delhi”.

“As such,the allocation of 17.5 per cent reservation ought to have been exclusively for the benefit of ‘Schedule Castes’ in Delhi. The DDA ought to have expressly indicated that it does not intend to accept applicants under the ‘Scheduled Castes’ outside of Delhi,” his lawyer Dhananjay said.

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