In a case similar to Mumbai’s Campa Cola housing society, a Delhi court has declined to return government land to a man who had bought a flat which was constructed illegally and was later demolished by DDA.
The court dismissed a suit for declaration of ownership and possession of land to a man and a woman who had bought a plot in a residential colony here which was raised by a real estate firm, saying the land belonged to the government.
“I hereby hold that the plaintiffs have failed to prove their case and are not entitled to the relief of declaration as prayed for and hence are also not entitled to the relief of possession as asked for in the plaint. The suit of plaintiffs is hereby dismissed,” Additional District Judge Kamini Lau said.
In the Campa Cola society case, flat owners had failed to get any relief with the Supreme Court paving the way for demolition of the flats constructed in violation of building rules.
In the present suit, Delhi residents Kishore Sethi and Shashi Sethi had bought a plot of land from Capital Housing Company for Rs 3.5 lakh in 1998 in Bharola village in north Delhi.
It said the builder had purchased the land and a large number of plots were carved out which were sold to the buyers.
It added that after getting no objection certificate from authorities concerned, thousands of residential houses were built in the colony as part of Adarsh Nagar Extension and the MCD had also regularised it in 1980.
The suit said that on June 19, 2003, DDA had demolished the superstructure on the man’s plot on the ground that it was a government land and the construction was an encroachment.
“The defendants (Government, DDA and Gaon Sabha) have no right, title or interest to hold claim and forcibly occupy the plaintiff’s land but the defendant being statutory authorities have taken possession and demolished the structure in colourable exercise of their power.
Hence the present suit is filed by the plaintiff,” it had said.
DDA, however, told the court that the land belonged to it by way of an order of 1974 and it was meant for construction of a park.
It denied that the man had purchased a plot of land with superstructure and said the builder had no right to carve out plots over DDA’s land and the sale, if any, made by any person was illegal, unlawful and void.
It also said that when it found unauthorised encroachments on the DDA land, demolition was done in June 2003.
The court in its judgement said that according to the Delhi Development Act, no person has any right to develop the land and carve out plots for residential or any other purpose.
“Further, the MCD has no right to regularise the colony vide resolution… dated February 14, 1980 and M/s Capital Housing has also no right to carve out any plot over the land belonging to the DDA and if any sale is made by any person, is illegal, unlawful and voidabinitio and the DDA has every legal right to protect their land,” the judge held.
The court also noted that if a party suppresses material facts from it then the relief of injunction and declaration cannot be granted to that party.
“While exercising its discretionary powers the court must keep in mind the well settled principles of justice and fair play and should exercise the discretion only if the ends of justice require it, for justice is not an object which can be administered in vacuum,” it said.