Tired of waiting for over 20 years to fulfil his dream of owning a flat in Delhi, a 70-year-old man has approached the Delhi High Court for relief after the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) claimed that the “allotment” of his flat had been “cancelled” because “terms and conditions” had not been “fulfilled”.
Since 1993, Hazara Singh has been visiting various DDA officials to get the allotment letter, only to be told that his file had been “misplaced”.
Coming down heavily on the DDA for “sleeping over the case like Kumbhakarna”, the court of Justice Suresh Kait has directed the civic agency to reply on the issue within six weeks. During a brief hearing last week, the court also dismissed the DDA counsel’s argument that Singh’s plea should be dismissed as he had not approached the court earlier.
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A taxi driver by profession, Singh had registered for the DDA’s new pattern scheme in 1979 for an LIG (low-income group) flat and paid the fee. In 1993, when the scheme was opened, his name was included in the list of successful allottees which was posted at the DDA’s Vikas Sadan office.
However, he did not receive any allotment letter from the DDA. Several visits over the next few years yielded no results. Finally, Singh started filing RTI applications in 2011 and 2012, only to get the reply that the information was “not readily available”. His lawyer then sent letters to the Delhi Lt-Governor and the DDA chairman with his complaint that the allotment file had “gone missing”.
When he still received no reply, he sent a legal notice to the DDA chairman in 2013 for “breach of trust, deficiency in services, negligence on the part of the public servant and misuse of statutory powers, which amounts to the willful corruption”. According to the plea field before court, the DDA did not reply to the notice for several month. It finally sent an acknowledgment letter in January 2014 claiming that “the file was with the Vigilance branch of the DDA. As soon as it is made available, suitable reply of your legal notice will be sent”.
After this letter, no further communication was sent by the DDA. Singh again filed an RTI query. Finally in April 2014, Singh’s lawyer advocate Harpal Singh visited the DDA offices and was given a copy of the list issued in 1993 containing the names of the successful allottees. No further communication was sent by the DDA even though more RTI queries were filed.
Finally in January this year, the DDA informed Singh that his allotment had been cancelled in 1993 as the “terms and conditions had not been fulfilled”.