Jag Mohan Sharma vs The State Of Haryana And Anr. on 20 November, 1992

Punjab-Haryana High Court
Jag Mohan Sharma vs The State Of Haryana And Anr. on 20 November, 1992
Equivalent citations: (1993) 103 PLR 747
Author: K Bhandari
Bench: K Bhandari


JUDGMENT

K.P. Bhandari, J.

1. This is a very hard case. The petitioner is an Army Officer. He is L/NK No. 1385 posted in 16 CORE H.Q. Camp M. T. He is resident of Village Kurana, Tehsil Panipat, District Karnal. The fact regarding his domicile is certified by the Sub Divisional Officer vide certificate Annexure P-1. The petitioner applied for the allotment of a residential house to respondent No. 2 and sent a draft of Rs. 500/- to the Housing Board. His application was registered at registration No. 311/E.W.S./PNP/1761. The amount was deposited vide receipt No. 5357 dated 13.12.1976, The petitioner was asked by respondent-Board to deposit a sum of Rs. 250/- more if he wanted a corner house. This amount was also deposited by the petitioner through a bank draft on 17-6-1982 Suddenly, the petitioner received a letter dated 15-6-1983 regarding cancellation of his registration on account of failure to deposit the amount. The petitioner vide letter dated 24-4-1983 (Annexure P-5) explained the circumstances under which the registered letter sent at his village address had been returned by the concerned post office. The petitioner again sent another registered letter on 14-6-1983 to respondent No. 2 explaining the circumstances regarding the return of the registered letter addressed to him. No action was taken on this letter. The petitioner again sent a registered letter on 13-12-1983 to the respondent No. 2 but no action was again taken on it. Major R. V. A. Kolkar also recommended the case of the petitioner to respondent No. 2 vide letter dated 19-6-1983, (Annexure P-8). The petitioner claims that he deposited the necessary amount and he was duly registered for allotment of a house but he has been illegally denied the allotment of the house. The petitioner further claims that he met the Chairman of the Board on 29-3-1983 for the redress at of his grievance but no action had been taken so far for the allotment of the house. The order canceling the registration is challenged by way of a writ petition. The order dated nil (Annexure P-4) reads as under:-

“It is informed that you failed to deposit the amount within stipulated period and as such registration has been cancelled.

You are requested to apply for the refund by sending the advance receipt in the enclosed proforma.”

2. Respondent No. 2 has filed the written statement and has justified the order, Annexure P-4 The respondent-Board has raised a preliminary objection that there is an alternate remedy to file appeal against the impugned order under Section 72-A of the Haryana Housing Board Act, 1971. If it is true that the petitioner could file the appeal. However, the writ petition was admitted on May 18, 1985 . Now it is too late and will be a complete denial of justice to the petitioner if he is relegated to the remedy of appeal. The motion Bench did not think it proper at the motion hearing to relegate the petitioner to the remedy of appeal. In addition the impugned order (Annexure P-4) has been passed without giving the petitioner an opportunity of being heard. The order is not. a speaking order. It is well settled by the decision of the Supreme Court in State of U.P. v. Mohammad Nooh, A. I. R. 1958 S. C. 86., that existence of alternate remedy is no bar in Case the impugned order is contrary to the principles of natural justice. Prima facie the impugned order, Annexure P-4 has been passed without affording any opportunity of being heard to the petitioner. The impugned order is contrary to the principles of natural justice. So, in this view of the matter, I am not inclined to dismiss the writ petition on the preliminary objection. As such the preliminary objection cannot be sustained.

3. It has been contended by the learned counsel for the petitioner on merit that he deposited the necessary amount required by the respondent-Beard for registration for allotment of the house in the Housing Board Colony, Panipat. He has been denied the allotment of the house illegally, arbitrarily and unreasonably. Order, Annexure P-4, cancelling the registration been passed without affording any opportunity of being heard. It is further contended that there is no intentional default on the part of the petitioner in not making the subsequent deposit in time.

4. Learned counsel for the respondent Board has not been able to satisfy me how the impugned order, Annexure P 4, can be sustained when the petitioner was not afforded any opportunity of being heard before passing the same and when the deposit has been made by the petitioner and his application has been registered. The petitioner became eligible candidate for allotment of the house. This confers a right on the petitioner to be considered for allotment of the house in the order of merit he applied. The order cancelling the registration is wholly non-speaking giving any reason at all. Various representations made by the petitioner to the Chairman of the Board also have not been considered and decided on merit. The petitioner is an Army Officer. He applied for the allotment of the house and made necessary deposits. His registration has been cancelled wholly on technical ground and without observing the principles of natural justice. He is entitled to allotment of the house in order of merit.

5. In view of the above discussion, the writ petition is allowed. The impugned order, Annexure P-4, is set aside. Respondent-Board is directed to allot a house to the petitioner in the category in which he is eligible within three months. The House should be allotted at a price which was prevailing when the houses were allotted to other persons who applied with the petitioner.

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