D. K. Jain, J. -
(2.)This appeal is directed against a common judgment and order rendered by the High Court of Delhi at New Delhi on 6th February, 2006 in Letters Patent Appeals No. 2715 and 2722 of 2005. By the impugned order, the appeals preferred by the two appellants herein, under Clause X of the Letters Patent have been dismissed.
(3.)The appellant firms-M/s. Sethi Auto Service Station and M/s. Anand Service Station own two petrol outlets adjacent to each other, located at NH-8, Mahipalpur, New Delhi since 1994. The land for the purpose was allotted by the Airport Authority of India (for short 'AAI') whereas the petrol pumps were allotted by the Indian Oil Corporation (for short 'IOC') and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (for short 'HPCL') to Sethi and Anand respectively. According to the appellants, in the year 1999, a proposal was formulated for construction of an eight-lane express highway between Delhi and Gurgaon, including construction of a flyover/grid separator at Mahipalpur crossing, where the two petrol pumps in question are located. Claiming unviability in the operation of the two petrol pumps on account of construction of the flyover and relying on the policy framed by the Delhi Development Authority (for short 'the DDA') on 14th October, 1999, the two oil companies approached the DDA, respondent No.1 in this appeal, for "re-sitement" of both the petrol pumps. It was claimed that, in the first instance, IOC and HPCL had corresponded with the original allotment agency, viz. AAI, for re-sitement but some time in the year 2000, AAI informed the Oil Companies that it did not have any alternative site for allotment due to non-availability of land. The appellants also relied on the letter issued by the National Highway Authority of India (for short 'NHAI') confirming that the proposed dual highway would be developed along with the existing alignment of NH-8 and that no access would be provided to any retail outlet or private property along the highway. Supporting the claim of the appellants, the State Level Coordinator (Oil Industry) also wrote a letter to the DDA on 10th May, 2002, inter alia, pointing out that the construction work on the grid separator had commenced; after its completion, all vehicles would cross over the separator and would not have any access to the two petrol pumps in question for refuelling thereby rendering them economically unviable.