D.K. Jain, J. -
(1.)This batch of writ petitions under Article 226 of the Constitution of India assails the price demanded from the intending purchasers of the flats allotted under the "Registrarion Scheme on New Pattern - 1979" (the Scheme for short) sponsored by the Delhi Development Authority (the D.D.A.).
(2.)The petitioners are registrants of flats under the Scheme. In the brochure published by the respondent D.D.A. regarding the Scheme, the terms and conditions were specified along with the details of Scheme "for- mulated to reduce the sale price of MIG/LIG and Janta flats, so as to be within the reach of the common man". Apart from prescribing period of registration, eligibility criteria, "area", "accommodation", the "likely cost" and other conditions were stipulated in Clause 13 and 14 respectively. Dispute being only qua the cost, the same set out in Clause 13 for each of the three categories of the flats was:
JUDGEMENT_403_DRJ32_1995Html1.htm ("the prices are indicative and do no represent the final cost") Clause 14 of the said brochure stipulated:
"It may please be noted that the plinth area of the flats indicated and the estimated prices mentioned in the brochure are illustra- tive and are subject to revision/modification depending upon the exigencies of lay out, cost of construction etc. etc."
The petitioners' grievance is that instead of price quoted in the brochure, the D.D.A. demands and has issued demand letters requiring them to pay for a flat under the L.I.G. category about Rs.3,30,000.00 and for M.I.G. category between Rs.4,40,000.00 to Rs.5,20,000.00 which amounts are highly exhorbitant and arbitrary. They seek an appropriate writ, order or direction quashing the illegal demands made by the D.D.A. with further direction to them to renter a true and faithful account of the actual cost incurred on the construction of the flats and for acquiring the land on which the flats stand and handover possession of the flats to the allottees at the same cost as stated by the respondents at the time of registration under the Scheme.
(3.)The matter was initially heard by a Bench comprising late Sunanda Bhandare, J. and Arun Kumar, J. and the orders were reserved. Meanwhile, a miscellaneous application, being C.M. No. 6491 of 1993, was filed in C.W.P. No. 1121 of 1991, to report that another Bench comprising D.P. Wadhwa and Vijender Jain, JJ. had pronounced a judgment in the case of Ashok Kumar Bahl & Ors. Vs. Union of India & Ors. (C.W.P. No. 3267/91) on 25 August 1993 1993 (27) DRJ 82: (52(1993) Delhi Law Times 153) which had a direct bearing on the controversy involved, similar is- sues had been considered and decided, the writ petition had been allowed and the relief similar to the one claimed herein had been granted and that this batch of writ petitions was liable to be disposed of in terms of the said judgment. On notice, the respondent D.D.A. resisted the application saying that important decisions vital to the issue raised had escaped attention of the Court in A.K.Behl's case, and as. such, the same is not binding. In view of at least six judgments, noticed by the Bench, in which escalation of cost of flats on account of cost of construction and revision of land rates had been challenged and different Division Benches, in view of the judgment of the Supreme Court in Bareili Development Authority Vs. Ajai Pal Singh & Ors - AIR 1989 SC 106: (1989) 2 SCC 116, had declined to interfere in the matter of escalation in cost, the Division Bench felt it appropriate that the matter be decided by a larger Bench to decide particularly the following questions:
1. Whether under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, this Court can interfere in the matter of pricing/costing of flats including escalation in cost of land particularly in view of Clause No. 13 ana 14 of the brochure regarding the Registration Scheme on New Pattern - 1979 under which the petitioners are registrants for allotment of flats? 2. Is the impugned revision of cost of land by the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi illegal and arbitrary?