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Merta Investment Pvt. Ltd. Vs. The Vice Chairman Delhi Development Authority and Ors. - (High Court of Delhi) (24 May 2022)

Writ Courts must not hesitate to exercise their jurisdiction under Article 226 of Constitution, where the actions of the State are violative of fundamental rights



The instant writ petition has been filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, 1950, challenging impugned Order passed by the Director (Old Scheme Branch), Delhi Development Authority (Respondent No. 2 herein) wherein the Petitioner's request for allotment the demised plot at 85% of his Bid was rejected and allotment was cancelled.

In the instant case, the variation in the area is more than 15% but the Petitioner is prepared to take the plot and accepts pro-rata reduction of 15% variation and had in fact gone to accepting up to 10% variation as is evidenced by letter written by the Petitioner to the Director (OSB), DDA. The Petitioner had already agreed to a refund of 10% of the Bid Amount and given its written consent to forego the excess premium paid. There is also no explicit condition in the e-auction document which indicates that the auctioned plot must be reauctioned if a variation of area of a plot is more than 20%.

DDA, coming within the ambit of "State" under Article 12 of the Constitution of India, is obligated to comply with the principles of natural justice. It is trite law that writ Courts must not hesitate to exercise their jurisdiction under Article 226 where the actions of the State are violative of fundamental rights under Constitution as being wholly unreasonable and unfair, and that in such circumstances, Courts must grant relief in favour of a person where both law and equity demand that such relief should be granted.

The Supreme Court in Ritesh Tiwari v. State of U.P., has deliberated upon the ambit of equitable jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, and noted that promotion of good faith and equity as well as to prevention of perpetration of a legal fraud are ideals that must be borne in mind by a Court of equity.

The actions of DDA to arbitrarily return the amount of the Petitioner without any intimation, and then rejection of the allotment of the demised plot to the Petitioner vide impugned Order is unconscionable and unacceptable and is against the principle of equity and good conscience. The Petitioner had also furnished a consent letter indicating their willingness to accept the demised plot with a 15% rebate in cost as per the accepted Bid Amount calculated on a pro-rata basis.

DDA cannot now turn its back to the Petitioner and solely rely upon the bidder not conducting inspections with respect to the demised plot. The good faith that has been reposed in the DDA by the Petitioner has been flouted time and again by way of arbitrary and unreasonable actions, when the Petitioner has been consistently following the terms and conditions imposed by the DDA. The reproachable conduct of the DDA in dealing with the Petitioner is not appreciated by this Court.

The DDA is directed to execute and register the Conveyance Deed with respect to demised plot in favour of the Petitioner. Furthermore, DDA is directed to accept the Bid Amount from the Petitioner with a rebate of 15% on a pro-rata basis as per the Clause (5) of Part I of Chapter II of the document of e-auction. Petition allowed.


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