Posted On by &filed under High Court, Punjab-Haryana High Court.


Punjab-Haryana High Court
Assistant Estate Officer, … vs Smt. Anita Arora on 25 August, 2000
Author: J L Gupta
Bench: J L Gupta


JUDGMENT

Jawahar Lal Gupta, J.

1. These two petitions are directed against the two orders passed by the Advisor to the Administrator. By these orders the two revision petitions filed by the petitioner have been dismissed on the ground of limitation. The counsel states that the issue is common. Thus, both the writ petitions can be disposed of by one order. The counsel has referred to facts as disclosed in Civil Writ Petition No. 11182 of 2000 (The Assistant Estate Officer, Chandigarh Administration, Chandigarh v. Smt. Anita Arora and another). These may be briefly noticed.

2. On November 19, 1997 the Administration conducted auction for the sale of a residential plot measuring 253.50 square yards. It was sold to respondent No. 1 for a price of Rs. 32,25,000/-, The said respondent

paid 25 per cent of the price, viz. Rs. 8,06,250/-, within the prescribed period. Thereafter, on January 18, 1998 the letter of allotment was issued in her favour. The remaining amount of money had to be paid in yearly instalments. The first instalment was to be due on November 19, 1998. On May 18, 1998 the first respondent submitted an application for permission to surrender the plot. She also prayed for the refund of the amount deposited by her. Vide communication dated June 5, 1998, the first respondent was called upon to show cause as to why the “whole/part of the premium and ground rent paid” by not forfeited. She submitted a reply. The Estate Officer vide order dated June 24, 1998 cancelled the lease and ordered forfeiture of 10 per cent of the sale price, viz. Rs. 3,22,500/-. He also ordered that interest and ground rent shall be recovered. The respondent appealed against the order. The Appellate Authority accepted the appeal. A copy of the order has been produced by the counsel 3t the hearing. It is taken on record as Mark ‘A’. By this order, forfeiture of 2 per cent was ordered. The remaining directions regarding payment of ground rent and interesi also were set aside. Aggrieved by the order dated October 12, 1999, passed by the Appellate Authority, the petitioner filed a revision petition before the Adviserto the Administrator. On January 12, 2000 the Administrator dismissed the revision petition on the ground of limitation. Aggrieved by the order, the petitioner has filed the present writ petition. It prays that the order passed by the Revisional Authority be quashed.

3. We have heard Mr. Ashok Aggarwal, learned counsel for the petitioner. He contends that in the circumstances of the case the delay in the presentation of the revision petition should have been condoned.

4. What were the circumstances ? Why had the delay occurred ? What were the reasons given for condonation ? Nothing has been placed on record. It has not even been shown lhat an application for condonation of delay had been filed.

5. Admittedly, the Chief Administrator had decided the appeal vide order dated October 12, 1999. It is also not disputed that Ihe order had been conveyed to the petitioner officially on October 22, 1999. The rules re-quire lhat the revision has to be filed within 30.days. The needful was not done. The delay was, admittedly, there. No reason forthis delay or ground for condonation was disclosed. Even an application for condona-tion of the delay is not shown to have been filed. Thus, there was no explanation. No prayer. In this situation, the competent authority, viz. the Advisor, has taken a possible view. She has held the balance evenly between the citizen and the State. She has acted judiciously. No infirmity has been pointed out. No interference is called for.

6. Mr. Aggarwal contends that the case raised an important issue. Thus, the delay should have been overlooked. A perusal of the order passed by the Appellate Authority shows that it had taken the view that respon-

dent No. 1 had informed the Administration regarding her desire to surrender the site “well before the first instalment became due.” In this situation, the forfeiture of 10 per cent of the premium, viz. Rs. 3,22,500/- was unfair. It was also noticed that a lenient view had been taken in various cases and that “the surrender accepted with nominal forfeiture”. In the circumstances, a forfeiture of 2 per cent of the premium of the site, viz. 64,500/- was considered appropriate. The directions for payment of interest and ground rent were also not sustained. In view of the admitted facts, we find that the order was absolutely just and fair. We may men-lion that there is nothing on record to show that the Administration had delivered the possession to respondent No. 1. Thus, we are not satisfied that any ground rent had accrued. The question of its waiver did not, thus, arise. In any event, the Appellate Authority had taken a reasonable view that forfeiture of 2 per cent would be an adequate compensation for the Administration. Resultantly, we do not find that the order passed by the Appellate Authority was unjust or unfair, so as to call for any interference in proceedings under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.

7. No other point has been raised in this or the connected case.

In view of the above, both the writ petitions have no merit. These are, consequently, dismissed in limine.

8. Petitions dismissed.


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