August 23, 2010 5:59:31 pm
The Supreme Court has held that a flat or plot cannot be allotted to a person on mere sympathy or sentiment unless the allottee fulfils the statutory norms stipulated in the agreement.
“Sympathy or sentiment by itself cannot be a ground for passing an order in favour of allottees by the courts nor can an order be passed in contravention of the statutory provisions,” a Bench of Justices P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan said in a judgement.
The apex court passed the judgement while quashing a Punjab and Haryana High Court direction to Greater Mohali Area Development Authority for allotting a MIG flat to Manju Jain who failed to deposit the initial deposit amount within the stipulated 60 days.
“Cancellation of an allotment should be a last resort. The allotment should not be cancelled unless the intention or motive on the part of the allottee in not making due payment is evident. The drastic power of resumption and forfeiture should be exercised in exceptional cases but that does not mean that the statutory rights conferring the right on the authority should never be resorted to.
“In exceptional circumstances,where the allottee does not make any payment in terms of allotment,the order of cancellation should be passed.,” the apex court said.
In the instant case,Madhu Jain had applied for a flat under the hire purchase scheme on January 27,1997. After the draw of lots,she was alloted a MIG flat on November 19,1997. The authorities subsequently issued the letter of
allotment dated 9th March,1999,in her favour,which made it clear that the price of the house was Rs.5,55,200/- and that she had to send her acceptance of the allotment and deposit 25 per cent of the amount within 60 days of the receipt of the allotment letter.
However,she did not respond for four years and later made enquiries about the fate of her flat.
The authority to her query informed her that the allotment made in her favour stood cancelled as she did not deposit any amount in pursuance of the allotment letter dated 9th March,1999.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court,however,directed the authorities to allot her the flat on the ground that the letter of allotment was not sent to the correct address despite the authorities producing sufficient evident to prove that it was sent to the right address.
Aggrieved,the authorities appealed in the apex court. Upholding the appeal,the apex court said “it becomes clear that respondent No.1(Madhu) did not make any response whatsoever after applying for allotment. No explanation could be furnished by respondent No.1 for why she kept quiet for 4 years after receiving the allocation letter and why she did not make any attempt to find out what had happened to her application.
“Respondent No.1 did not send her acceptance of the allotment,did not deposit the amount which became due in 1999 itself and did not execute the required hire-purchase agreement with the appellant-authority. Thus,it is solely for her that no concluded contract came into existence between the parties,” the apex court said.
The Bench said that in the present situation,the authorities rightly rejected her belated claim.
“The court proceeded in haste and decided the case relying upon irrelevant materials,” the Bench said while quashing the High Court order.
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