SANJIV PARKASH Vs. NEW DELHI MUNICIPAL CORPORATION
HIGH COURT OF DELHI
NEW DELHI MUNICIPAL CORPORATION
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(1.)These appeals relate to the matter or allotment to the prestigeous und.erground shopping complex known as Palika Bazar which was built in Connaught Place by the respondent Committee in the year 1976. This shopping Centre was designed to' accommodate 308 shops of various sizes located at diff''rent levels. The whole complex is a centrally air-conditioned one. The Committee by its resolution of 29-11-1977 had approved a policy matter to allot 98 shops to the shopkeepers of Panchkuin Road because that space was required for widening of thi; said Road. The Government had also taken a policy decision that the following categories of shopkeepers who had. been carryin go ntheir business elsewhere will be accommodated first. These categories were Panchkuin Road 98, Janpath Stalls-71, Tibetan Stalls-24 and Connaught Circus (Yusuf zai Market)- 117. The Government also decided as per communication of 27-4-1978 that out of these above shopkeepers who wished to leave their present shops and desired to obtain shops in underground shopping centre may be allowed to come. But others who did not wish may not be forced to come ; the remaining shops be let out On tender.
(2.)On 27-5-1978 the Delhi Administration directed the Committee to allot 98 stall holders of Panchkuin Road Shops in this complex on the conditions which had already been settled. As ail the stalls reserved for Tibetans were not taken by them the result was that there was large number cf stalls still available, that is why a policy decision was taken by the Committee to call for tenders for allotment of 177 shops divided into 4 zones and further classsfied in 7 groups tor proper identification as detailed below: (a) General Shop', (b) Shops with 12' front space; (c) Shops with water connection; (d) Shops with water connection and 12' front space; (e) Shops with additional height; (f) Shops with loft; and (d) Shops with water connection and 12' front space;
The Committee issued licenses to certain stall holders of Panchkuin Road in view of their surrendering the shaps and utilised the land under their stalls' at Panchkuin Road for publicconvenience. The licence fee was fixed by the Committee.. It is II common case that it was much lower than that for which tenders were offered by the appellant and ultimately accepted by the Committee. The Committee had also evolved a scheme of trade zoning restriction by which only some 'trades were permitted in each zone. It is also comon case that this trade zoning restriction was not made applicable to the shopkeepers of Panchkuin Road. In due course the tenders for 177 shops were issued.
(3.)Separate tenders were to be submitted for a shop in each group. The preference for allotment of a particular shop in a group was' to be given to the highest tenderer in descending order; only tenders above reserve price being considered, In the terms and conditions of the tender clause 10 mentioned that only such trades as mentioned in the trade zoning plan shall be permitted to be run in the shop. The details of the trade zoning plans were appended alongwith the documents. The appendix A shows that the area was divided into zones 1A, 1B and zone 2, 3, and 4. The licensee was to pay the licence fee in advance by 10th of each calender month. Non-payment of licence fee will constitute a breach of the terms of the license. Similarly if the licensee tails to perform or observe any of the terms and conditions to be observed the licensor may without prejudice to general right of reolution of licence re-enter the premises in question. Appellant in LPA 12211981 had iven a tender at Rs. 60.28 per sq. ft. The license fee of which works out to Rs. 9367.31 per moiilh. The respondents had given tender TOT a shop wiih 12 feet frontage and had indicated the trade to be run by him as Boutique. In due course he was allo'tted shop No. 3 in Zone 3. as per allotment letter dated 28-10-1978 issued by the Committee. The trade permissible in the shop was Boutique. It appears that the appellant had given the tender that the approximate rent was about Rs'. 60 per square feet and monthly comes to Rs. 9367.67. The appellant went into possession of the shop in the end of November 1.978. About 4 months later in March, 1979 various licences like the appellants took up the matter with the Committee purporting to make a grievance that there had been no demarcation of the 12 feet front space for the use of individual shopkeepers and that the same may be done. Their claim being that this 12 feet front space was to be given to the individual shopkeepers and this must be made over to them. Tn January 1979 the appellant also wrote to the Committee saying that because of the changed condition and circumstances they may be given permission to run an Ice Cream Bar. Apparently no permission was given and show cause notice was issued on 18-5-1980 by 'the Estate Officer saying that as be was running a trade it was against the terms and: conditions of the licence and action will be taken for cancallation of the allotment. Apparently this 'was a common phenomenon with regard to large number of the allottees and that is why mot of them filed the writ petitions challenging the action of the Committee. As already mentioned allotments had been made to former Panchkuin Road shopkeepers at a fixed licence fee. It was a much lesser premium than the amount tendered by the appellant and others. Also Panchkuin Road people were, not required to adhere to the trade zoning restriction for a particular zone, that is to say that they could carry on any trade which was p'-'rmitled in any of the zones, in the market. Gradually it appears that barring writ petitioners in CW 156590 and 68411980 the other writ petitioners changed the nature of business to other permitted in their license deed. The new business which has been started by them is no doubt permissible in the various zones of Palika Bazar but is not permissible in the psirticuL'.ii- --.one where the writ petitionors had their shops. Thus the appellants who are licensees in zone 3 for boutique arc now carrying on the sale of ice cream and cold drinks which is not permissible within zone 3. though it is possibly permitted in some other zone. That is why the appellants' and others were served with notices by the Committee for showing ca.uses as to why the license should not be cancelled., which brought the petitioners to this court.
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