NATIONAL CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION
(From the order dated 7.12.99 in First Appeal No.1879/99
State Commission Haryana)
Dr.(Mrs.) Arun Prabha Jain Petitioner
The Administrator, Haryana Urban
HONBLE MR. JUSTICE D.P. WADHWA,
MRS. RAJYALAKSHMI RAO, MEMBER.
MR. B.K. TAIMNI, MEMBER,
HONBLE MR. JUSTICE K.S. GUPTA, MEMBER.
Housing advertisement of plot for nursing home, no condition that applicant should be a registered society, record of HUDA examined - no indication of any policy of allotment of plot to registered society complaint of the individual doctor upheld direction to allot plot on the prevailing price in 1994 without charging interest on account of escalation in the meanwhile.
For the respondents : : Mr. Ajay Pal Singh and
Mr. Mahabir Singh, Advocates
O R D E R
DATED THE 25th April, 2003.
JUSTICE D.P. WADHWA, J.(PRESIDENT)
It is the complainant, a practicing medical practitioner, who is before us in this revision petition. She is aggrieved by the order dated 7.12.99 of the State Commission dismissing her appeal which in turn upheld the order of the District Forum dated 10.11.99 dismissing the complaint.
Complainant had applied for allotment of a plot of land measuring 0.82 acres in Sector 21B, Faridabad or any other suitable alternative site for construction a hospital. Her application to the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) - opposite parties was not entertained on the ground that the policy for allotment of plot for construction of nursing home/hospital did not permit the allotment of the site in the name of an individual person and that only a society registered under the Societies Registration Act could apply for the allotment of a site. Complainant had challenged the stand of the HUDA in the District Forum but she failed and she also failed in her appeal before the State Commission.
In pursuance to advertisement put in the daily Tribune on 17.1.90 complainant on 16.2.90 applied for allotment of land for construction of 100 beds hospital. She also paid earnest money of Rs.2500/- as was required in terms of the advertisement. This advertisement is reproduced in full:
HARYANA URBAN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
Haryana Urban Development Authority Faridabad invites applications for allotment of land for Private Nursing Homes in various sectors at Faridabad for following categories:
i) Up to 10 beds (ii) Up to 20 beds (iii) up to 50 beds (iv) Up to 100 beds (v) above 120 beds.
Application with complete bio-data alongwith a bank draft for Rs.2500/- in favour of Estate Officer, HUDA, Faridabad should reach Administrator, HUDA, Fbd. within a month. For more details please contact on any working day.
Proforma for applications:
1. Name of the applicant.
2. Qualifications: Attested copies of certificates & testimonials be attached.
3. Certificate of registration by the competent authority.
4. Experience in the profession.
5. Number of members of the society and copy of registration of the society.
6. Financial position (Certificate from a scheduled bank).
7. Requirement of land along with utilisation plan and Sector preferred for allotment of land.
8. Recommendation of Deputy Commissioner/Chief Medical Officer (Genuineness Certificate).
Phone:-26917, 25497. Administrator HUDA,
Administrator, HUDA asked for certain documents by letter 15.10.90 which the complainant supplied. Again, the Administrator asked for some further details which also were supplied. Since there was no response for allotment of site to the complainant she had been writing letters to the authorities. She was called for discussion by the Administrator, HUDA on 20.1.94. Her case for allotment of land measuring 0.82 acres in Sector 21B was recommended on 5.5.1994 by the Administrator HUDA, Faridabad to Chief Administrator HUDA, Chandigarh. Administrator also requested that rate of cost of land and terms and conditions may kindly be got fixed and conveyed at the earliest. The project was also recommended by the Health Services Department. However, by letter dated 7.6.95 Administrator informed the complainant that site measuring 0.82 acre was found to be insufficient to construct 100 beds hospital and asked the complainant to re-examine her request according to the prescribed norms. The complainant on that submitted amended land utilisation plans and scaled down construction of hospital to 40 beds. This was by her letter dated 4.7.95. Complainant did not hear anything in the matter thereafter and was shocked when she received letter dated 1.1.97 from the Estate Officer, HUDA, Faridabad sending her a cheque of Rs.2500/- without any explanation or information. The Estate Officer sought to refund the earnest money received from the complainant in 1990. Naturally the complainant protested and she wrote letters and reminders and she returned the cheque sent by the Estate Officer. It is not necessary to refer to other correspondence except to note that the complainant received a letter dated 11.11.97 from the Administrator, HUDA Faridabad declining her request for allotment of site. This letter reads as under:
Sub:- Allotment of land for 100 Bed Nursing Home/Hospital
Please refer to your letter dated 27.5.97 on the subject noted above.
As per direction conveyed by the Head Qtrr. vide his letter dated 3.9.97 that the policy on the subject in force does not permit individual application to be entertained. Therefore, as per existing policy you are requested to apply as and when the advertisement to the effect is released in the News Paper by the HUDA. A Cheque of Rs.2500/- as earnest money deposited by you is enclosed.
DA/cheque No.070633 dt. 11.11.97
Administrator, HUDA, Faridabad.
When the complainant asked for the policy it was not supplied to her. Alleging deficiency in service she filed a complaint on 11.8.98 before the District Forum, Faridabad. On notice being issued, opposite parties filed their written version through Mr. C.R. Yadav, HCS, who was working as Estate Officer, HUDA, Faridabad. At the outset it was denied that there was any advertisement published earlier to March 1991. It was, therefore, submitted that the complainant had never applied against any such advertisement. It was then submitted that the complainant applied for allotment of the beds hospital sites individually and as per the existing policy, individual application is not entertainable. On this premise it was stated that the amount of earnest money was refunded to the complainant. This in all is the defence of the HUDA-opposite parties-respondents.
Complainant had also alleged that she filed appeal against the order of the Administrator not entertaining her application, to the Chief Administrator, HUDA and reply to this was given by the Administrator on 12.6.98. It was:
Sub:- Allotment of land for upto 100 bed Nursing Home.
Ref:- your application dated 27.4.98 on the above subject.
Your application cannot be considered as Appeal. You are requested to apply as and when the advertisement to the effect is released in the Newspaper by the HUDA.
It is certainly a novel method of deciding the appeal devised by the opposite parties! A brochure offering sites for nursing home/clinics has also been brought on record. It gives the terms and conditions for allotment of sites and also eligibility conditions. An application for allotment has to be accompanied with earnest money of Rs. 2500/-. Price of the site is to be charged as may be fixed by HUDA and the same will be announced at the time of interview of the applicants. There are certain other conditions which are not quite relevant except that we note the eligibility conditions which are as under:
1. Only those who can construct/run the Nursing Homes/Clinic within the stipulated period of 2 years from the date of offer of possession may apply for allotment of sites.
2. Applicants who have already applied for allotment of Nursing Home/Clinic sites to HUDA may not deposit t the earnest money again for applying for the site in the same Urban Estate.
3. Doctors in active service can be considered for allotment of the sites provided they are willing to resign.
4. Doctors already running Nursing Homes/Clinics in the rented buildings will be given preference provided they do not have any site/building for the purpose in the Estate.
5. Each application will be for one category of plot in one sector in any urban estate. If an applicant wishes to apply for more than one category or sector or urban estate, separate applications alongwith the required earnest money will have to be sent. No priorities may be indicated as they will not be considered.
If we examine the advertisement set out above, it nowhere says that allotment of site can be given only to registered society. Eligibility conditions also do not spell out any such condition. Advertisement is admittedly dated 17.1.90 and it really surprises us that the Estate Officer should have given affidavit that no advertisement was published earlier to March, 1991. We wished that the affidavit should have been filed with some responsibility on the basis of the record.
In order to satisfy ourselves whether there was any policy arrived at by HUDA that allotment of site could only be made to a registered society , we called for the records of HUDA. Original file has been placed before us. We examined the same. There is no indication of any such policy. Nor any such policy has been pointed out to us by the respondents from the records - a stand of sheer helplessness taken by the respondents. It is, therefore, apparent that the whole defence set up by the HUDA is against the record. We have not been able to comprehend as to why HUDA took such a defence which is palpably against the record maintained by it. At the same time it is also unfortunate that the District Forum should have dismissed the complaint on the two pleas of the HUDA which were not true. The order of the State Commission is worse. It gives no reasons and states that complaint was rightly dismissed by the District Forum in view the discussions made in paras 6 and 7 of the impugned order. State Commission has failed to exercise jurisdiction vested by law in it which has resulted in grave miscarriage of justice.
When this matter came up before us on 1.4.2002 we passed the following order on the application of the complainant seeking interim relief:
Mr. Ajay Pal, counsel for the Respondent, will take instructions if the plot measuring 0.82 acres in Sector 21-B, Faridabad, for which the Petitioner applied for allotment, is vacant or not and if not whom it has been allotted and since when. Meanwhile, if the plot is available, for which the Petitioner has applied in Sector 21-B, Faridabad, the same shall not be allotted to any person till further orders. Let the matter be listed again on 2nd August, 2002.
In reply to this an affidavit has been filed by the Estate Officer, HUDA in which it is submitted that the plot in question has not so far been allotted to any person but with a view to avoid illegal encroachment being made thereon, boundary will has been raised by HUDA.
We, therefore, allow this revision petition, set aside the orders of the State Commission and the District Forum and direct HUDA to allot plot measuring 0.82 acres in Sector 21-B, Faridabad, to the complainant on the basis of the price prevailing in 1994. To balance the equities complainant will not pay any interest on the amount so fixed by HUDA as construction cost has escalated manifold. The allotment shall be made within two months of receipt of this order by HUDA and necessary formalities for transfer of the land be completed immediately thereafter. A great deal of inconvenience, harassment and expense has been caused to the complainant because of the stand taken by the respondents which had no legs to stand and was palpably contrary to the record maintained by them in their official discharge of their duties. This petition is thus allowed with cost which we assess at Rs.20,000/-.