Decided on August 02,2007



S.MURALIDHAR,J. - (1.) THE challenge in these writ petitions are to demands raised by the Delhi Development Authority ('DDA') against the petitioners for a recovery of certain sums of money as arrears of land revenue under Section 68 of the Punjab Land Revenue Act, 1887('PLRA')-The principal ground of such challenge is that since the work contracts entered into by the DDA with the petitioners, out of which these demands arise, does not contain any clause that permits the DDA to recover such amounts, It is contended that in any event the DDA cannot invoke the provisions of PLRA to recover such amounts.
(2.) THE facts in both writ petitions are more ok less similar. For convenience, the facts of the first petition, Writ Petition (C) No. 5073 of 2003 are discussed in some detail. By a contract dated 28.2.1989 entered into with the DDA, the petitioner was awarded the work of "Development of Local Shopping Centre at Madangir." The work commenced on 10.3.1989 and was to be completed within four months. For various reasons, which need not be gone into in these proceedings, the work could not be completed within the stipulated period. It was rescinded on 9.3.1990. The disputes between the parties was, in terms of the contract, referred to arbitration. Before the Arbitrator, the DDA filed, inter alia, counter claims against the petitioner. These included a claim in the sum of Rs. 1,34,130/- "on account of compensation levied under Clause 2 of the contract." The Arbitrator, by an award dated 6.8.1993, held that the action of the DDA in levying compensation under Clause 2 of the contract was unwarranted and accordingly disallowed the counter claim. When, by a petition filed by the petitioner in this Court, the award was sought to be made a rule of Court, the DDA questioned this portion of the award on the ground that the Arbitrator could not have adjudicated upon the claim for compensation under Clause 2 of the Contract as it was an 'excepted matter'. This Court upheld the objection of the DDA by its decision dated 15.11.1999; Harinder Anand v. Delhi Development Authority, 83 (2000) DLT 391=2001 (1) Arb.LR 319 (Delhi). This Court followed the judgment of the Division Bench of this Court in DelhiDevelopment Authority v. M/s. Sudhir Brothers, 57 (1995) DLT 474 (DB) =1995 (2) Arb.LR 306 (DB). Accordingly, the portion of the award dealing with DDA's claim for compensation under Clause 2 of the contract was set aside. On 27.3.2003 the DDA issued to the petitioner the impugned demand notice invoking Section 68 of the PLRA. The petitioner wrote to the Assistant Collector, Grade-1, DDA on 2.6.2003 protesting against the impugned demand on the ground that the delay, if any, in completion of the contract is attributable to the DDA and that the DDA could not invoke the provisions of the PLRA for recovering the amount. In response to the petitioner's letter dated 2.6.2003, the DDA on 18.7.2003 filed a rejoinder before the Assistant Collector contending that the amount was recoverable under the PLRA. Further, it was claimed that after the order of this Court dated 15.11.1999 became final the validity of such demand could not be re-examined.
(3.) THEREAFTER the petitioner filed the present writ petition on 1.8.2003. While directing notice to issue on 11.8.2003, this Court stayed the impugned demand.;

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