Decided on November 18,1983

UNION OF INDIA Respondents

Referred Judgements :-



G.C.JAIN - (1.)Delhi Improvement Trust was the owner of plot No. 2 in Block No. 3, bearing Municipal No. XV/8995 (new), situate on Original Road, Paharganj, New Delhi. It was leased out by the Trust in favour of one Sultan Ahmed. On his migration to Pakistan it vested in the Custodian and was later on acquired under Section 12 of the Displaced Persons (Compensation and Rehabilitation) Act (for short 'the Act'). The lease-hold rights were auctioned on October 21, 1959. The petitioner, Dwarka Nath Bhasin, offered the highest bid of Rs. 42,000.00. He tendered his compensation towards the earnest money of the bid price. A sum of Rs. 8,333.00 was adjusted out of the compensation payable to the petitioner towards this price.
(2.)One Sukh Dev Verma was in occupation of the plot and had made some superstructure on it. He filed objections alleging that the plot in question was not an evacuee property. He had raised the superstructure and, therefore, it could not be acquired or sold as an acquired evacuee property, etc. It appears that his objections were decided by the Managing Officer but on appeal the case was remanded by the Assistant Settlement Commissioner vide his order dated February 29, 1960. Thereafter the Managing Officer by means of order dated July 10, 1962 (Annexure P-7) held that the bid in favour of the petitioner has been confirmed by the Chief Settlement Commissioner who had also ordered to grant Verma ex gratia equivalent to the cost of unauthorised superstructure raised by him and, therefore, nothing remained to be decided in the case. Feeling aggrieved, Varma filed an appeal which was dismissed by the Assistant Settlement Commissioner on October 31, 1962 (Annexure P-8). The revision petition was dismissed by the Assistant Settlement Commissioner on delegated powers of Chief Settlement Commissioner by order dated August 13. 1963 (Annexure P-l0). The application of Verma under Section 33 of the Act against the said order was dismissed by the Central Government by order dated September 20, 1963 (Annexure P-ll). Verma thereafter filed a writ petition under. Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India in the Circuit Bench of the Punjab High Court at Delhi which was dismissed on February 25, 1972 (Annexure P-15). Letters Patent Appeal against the said judgment was dismissed on March 4, 1975 (Annexure P-16). Special Leave Petition filed by Verma in the Supreme Court was also dismissed on April 7, 1976 (Annexura P-20).
(3.)The Assistant Settlement Commissioner (Sales) acting for Regional Settlement Commissioner, Delhi, informed the petitioner by letter dated April 4, 1962 (Annexure P-5) that his bid had been accepted by the Regional Settlement Commissioner. The petitioner was asked to deposit the balance amount, i.e. Rs. 42,000.00 and produce tha treasury challan within fifteen days from the receipt of the intimation. It was made clear that the confirmation of the bid was subject to the decision of appeal, if any, filed by the objector (Sukh Dev Verma). The petitioner made an application dated April 23, 1962 to the Regional Settlement Commissioner requesting for extension of time and the time was extended up to May 26, 1962 by Memo dated April 27, 1962 (Annexure I to the counter-affidavit). The petitioner made another representation dated May 25, 1962 (Annexure P-6) stating that the appeal filed by Verma was still pending and acceptance of the appeal would result in setting aside of the auction and in these circumstances time be extended till the decision of the appeal. With reference to this representation the petitioner was informed by memorandum dated January 20, 1964 (P-12) that a sum of Rs, 33,167.00 remained due from him towards the purchase price of the property in question and was required to make good the said deficiency within fifteen days from the date of the receipt of the said notice. This memorandum had thus the effect of extending the time by fifteen days of the receipt of the memorandum. The petitioner on January 29, 1964 made an application (Annexure P-13) stating that Verma had filed a writ petition in the Circuit Bench of the Punjab High Court and he had been served with a notice about it and was pursuing the writ petition. He would suffer great loss in case the writ petition filed by Verma was accepted and consequently time to deposit the balance amount be allowed to him till the disposal of the writ petition by the High Court No reply appears to have been sent to this representation. The petitioner, through his counsel made a representation dt./- Mar. 12, 1975 (Annex. P-17) stating that the writ petition filed by Verma had been dismissed by the High Court and the Letters Patent Appeal had also been dismissed on March 4, 1975. The petitioner could not pay the balance amount earlier because of the stay granted by the High Court and he was now prepared to pay the balance amount of Rs. 33,6671- and the Managing Officer was requested to send the necessary challans for the purpose. Another letter dated April 29, 1975 (Annexure P-18) was sent by the petitioner through his counsel stating that the petitioner had approached the office of the Managing Officer for deposit of the balance auction price but he was informed that the department had not received copy of the High Court order and that the copy was being forwarded. The Managing Officer was requested to accept the balance amount. A third representation in this behalf was made on July 5, 1975 (Annexure P-19) stating the facts that the petitioner was prepared to deposit the balance price and had made a request in this behalf earlier and requesting the Managing Officer to accept the balance amount. With reference to this representation the petitioner was informed by letter dated December 17, 1975 (Anasxure P-21) that the sale of the property held in his favour had since been cancelled on forfeiture of earnest money. OB December 24, 1975 the petitioner made a representation (Annesure P-23) for re-consideration of the matter. Along with the said representation he sent a bank draft for Rupees 33,6671- (Photocopy P-24). The draft was returned by the Managing Officer along with his letter dated January 2, 1976 (Annexure P-25). Petitioner thereafter presented a petition (Annexure P-30) under S. 24 (4) read with Section 33 of the Act to the Central Government. The said petition was heard by Smt. Kusum Prasad, Director in the Department of Rehabilitation with delegated powers of Central Government. The petitioner raised objections and requested her to send his petition to the Joint Secretary (W) for disposal as the bid bad been cancelled under her orders as Chief Settlement Commissioner. She, however, rejected the petition on the ground that Rule 90 (11) of the Rules was a self-contained and complete rule regarding auction of compensation pool properties. Bids could be rejected/accepted under Rule 90 (11). There was no provision in the said rule for appeal against rejection of the bid and the appeal was, therefore, not maintainable. The petitioner thereafter filed a civil writ petition in this Court. In reply to the show cause notice the respondents pointed out that the said (bid ?) had been cancelled on forfeiture of the earnest money vide order of the Settlement Commissioner dated December 12, 1975 which fact was found correct by the petitioner and, he, therefore, withdrew the said writ petition and applied to the department for supplying him a copy of the order dated December 12, 1975 which was duly supplied. The petitioner thereafter filed a revision petition (Annexure P-35) under Section 24 of the Act against the order dated December 12, 1975 passed by Shri S. P. Sud, Settlement Commissioner. It was dismissed by the Deputy Chief Settlement Commissioner on January 3, 1977 (Annexure P-36). The petitioner then made a petition (Annexure P-37) under Section 33 of the Act to the Central Government. It was, however, dismissed by Smt. Kusum Prasad, on April 5, 1976 (Annexure P-39). It was observed hat notice was issued to the petitioner on April 4, 1962 asking him to deposit the amount in question within fifteen days of the receipt of the notice. Petitioner asked for extension of time which was granted to him up to May 26, 1962. Petitioner was clearly intimated that in case the amount was not deposited within the period specified, ten per cent of the bid price would be forfeited to the Government in accordance with the provisions of Rule 90 (4) of the Rules without further reference and no further extension of time would be given. The petitioner admittedly failed to pay the amount within the extended time and, therefore, the sale automatically stood cancelled. No further order cancelling the sale was necessary.

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