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R.L. Jain (D) By Lrs vs Dda & Ors on 12 March, 2004
Ram Chand vs Union Of India (N.P. Singh, J) on 30 September, 1993
Dda Graduate Engineers' ... vs The Lieutenant Governor Of Delhi ... on 9 September, 1992

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Delhi High Court
Surender Kumar Mehta vs Delhi Development Authority ... on 16 December, 2004
Author: P Nandrajog
Bench: P Nandrajog



JUDGMENT
 

Pradeep Nandrajog, J.

1. The present batch of writ petitions require consideration of the issue whether DDA can resile from its office order dated 21.11.2002.

2. Certain backdrop facts which were not a part of pleadings of either party may be noted as per concession made by counsel appearing for the petitioners as well as learned counsel who appeared for the DDA.

3. The said unpleaded facts are that in the year 1979, DDA floated a residential scheme called New Pattern Registration Scheme (hereinafter referred to as "NPRS-1979").

4. Under the said scheme, DDA sought registration from individuals pertaining to different categories of flats, proposed to be constructed in future. Middle Income Group, Lower Income Group and at the bottom Janta Category Flats were notified to be constructed by DDA in the future. Within the scheme, separate registration for SC/ST persons was also envisaged.

5. As per the scheme as originally notified, names of all applicants were to be registered by DDA. As and when flat(s) in a respective category were available in a particular colony, names of all registrants were to be entered in a draw of lots. Whosoever was successful, was to get the flat allotted at the draw in his name.

6. Registrants being large in number, I am given to understand that the figure crossed over a lakh, it was creating administrative problems to enter all names, besides causing inconvenience to the registrants who were to scrutinize whether they were found successful at each draw. Accordingly, in the year 1986 DDA decided to allot priority numbers to the pending registrants. This meant that DDA took out a computerized draw of all pending registrants in the year 1986. At seriatum, names were culled out at the draw with reference to the registration number. Priority got assigned. Thereafter, as and when flats became available, based on the priority of the registrant, only such number of priorities were fed in a computer as corresponded to the number of flats available. At this draw, specific flat came to be allotted to the registrant.

7. NRPS-1979 was floated in the year 1979. Priorities got assigned in the year 1986.

8. This allocation of priority to the registrants solved the administrative problem faced by DDA which earlier on was entering all the names at each draw of lots. Henceforth, DDA would enter a limited number of names based on priority assigned in the year 1986 for determination of specific flat being allotted. This created a problem which is being reflected in the present petitions. The problem which got created was that people who found their names low down in the priority list went into a slumber, they claim that this slumber was induced by DDA. Allotments were taking place at a snail's pace. Those who found their names way down the priority list had no clue whether they would get a flat after a decade or may be two decades. These people were not expected to keep a track each year of what DDA was doing. It was reasonable to expect that these persons would find out the status of their registration, may be every 2nd or 3rd year in the beginning and thereafter depending upon in what manner the list moved, keep track with periodic frequency thereafter.

9. As would be noted from individual facts hereunder, barring a stray, most of the writ petitioners who were registered in 1979 found their priority maturing somewhere in the year 1996 to the year 2000 i.e. 15 to 21 years after registration. 10 to 15 years after 1986 when priority was assigned to them.

10. Most of the petitioners claim that having applied in 1979, they changed residence. New address was duly furnished to DDA. When their priority matured, DDA entered their names in a draw of lots. Flat allotted to them was offered by and under a demand-cum-allotment letter. DDA was negligent in posting the letter at the old address. Petitioners did not receive the demand-cum-allotment letter. Petitioners claim that they should be allotted a flat at the cost prevalent when original demand-cum-allotment letter was issued to them. One or two cases relate to the priority of the petitioner being missed, in that, their names being not entered at the draw of lots when names of persons junior to them in priority were entered.

11. defense of DDA is that though it may be at fault, but petitioners are equally negligent. Their culpability is no less. It is stated by DDA that there is no reason why some of the petitioners chose to approach this court in the year 2004 when admittedly their priority matured much earlier. I may note that barring few petitioners whose priority matured in 1990-91, most cases are the ones where priority matured between 1996-2000.

12. Petitioners predicate a claim based on DDA's office order No. F. 2(10)/2002/Coodn/Housing/148 dated 21.11.2002 which stipulates as under :

"OFFICE ORDER In LPA No. 26/2000 and CM. No. 132/2000, DDA v. Jaspal Singh, Double Bench of High Court of Delhi in its order dated 10th August, 2000 has ordered that in cases where DDA has failed to change the address despite communication of the same by the allottee, allottee is entitled to the flat at the original price and cannot be burdened for the fault of the DDA. Further the order says that judgment on this issue clearly amounts to pronouncement of the legal position and is thus judgment in rem. On the basis of the judgments and other similar judgments CLA has given opinion that DDA must verify and ensure that in all such cases of change of address not being made by the DDA and allotment letter being sent at the wrong address as a consequence thereof, the allottees are allotted flats at the same price as per the original demand letter so that the allottees are not unnecessarily harassed and compelled to approach the Court.

Similarly, in all double allotment cases, which are definitely the fault of the DDA similar judgments have been received by DDA from High Court. In these cases also the Court has ordered to charge the original demanded amount without any interest thereupon. These judgments have attained finality since DDA has accepted these orders and has not filed an appeal.

Therefore, it has been decided that in all such cases of change of address not made by the DDA and allotment letters sent at the wrong address, the allottee shall be allotted flats at the same price given in the original demand letter and no interest will be charged on that amount. Similarly, in double allotment cases also the cost charged for the subsequent correct allotment only the old cost based on the plinth area rate at the time of original allotment will be taken and no interest will be added on that.

This issues with the approval of V.C. On file No. IPV/20000, (CWP No. 203/95)."

13. The order aforenoted proceeds to formulate a policy in harmony with decision of the Court in LPA. No. 26/2000, DDA v. Jaspal Singh.

14. In a connected writ petition being WP(C) No. 11828/04 which has unfortunately got separated from the present batch of writ petitions, DDA has filed an additional affidavit justifying not to follow said office order. Counsel for the petitioners, who had been furnished copy of the additional affidavit aforesaid, stated matters may be heard.

15. In the additional affidavit filed in WP(C) No. 11828/04, it has been stated by DDA as under :

"2. That the respondent had formulated a policy dated 21.11.2002 wherein it had been decided that in all cases where change of address had been intimated by the allottee, but had not been recorded/made by respondent-DDA and the allotment letters were sent at the old address, the allottee shall be allotted flat at the same price given in the original demand letter and no interest would be charged on the same. However, since an important aspect escaped notice of the respondent-DDA when the said policy was framed with regard to the fact that the results of the said draw regarding allotment of individual flats (including the flat to the petitioner) were widely advertised in newspapers, as and when the said allotments were made and further the list of successful allottees (mentioning flats numbers, locality etc.) had also been displayed at the reception counter of the respondent-DDA at Vikas Sadan, it was realized that the said allottees (including the petitioner herein) were equally responsible and guilty/negligent in not making the payments at the time when the allotments were made. It further transpired that the allottees were trying to take advantage of the said policy despite their being fully aware of the allotment made earlier, thereby causing considerable losses to the respondent-DDA. The respondent as such has initiated steps to revise the said policy decision dated 21.11.2002.

3. That certain allotments have already been made by the respondent/DDA in terms of the said policy decision dated 21.11.2002, either by the respondent on its own or on the directions issued by the Hon'ble Court in various cases. However, since the time when the aforesaid aspect was realized by the respondent, it has stopped making allotments at the old rates. In this regard, it is submitted that as on 5.11.2004, 56 cases of such registrants seeking allotment at old rates (on account of letter of allotment being sent on wrong address) are pending. The list of the said registrants, indicating the amounts at which the demand letters were issued at old cost as also the current cost is enclosed herewith and is marked as Annexure R-1. It is submitted that the respondent shall suffer a loss of over Rs. 1.46 crores in case the said allotments are made to the said registrants at the old cost in terms of the policy dated 21.11.2002. It is further pertinent to submit that fresh requests are continuing to be filed by the various other registrants seeking allotment at the old rates on the basis of the said policy dated 21.11.2002 and the amount of losses are bound to increase further. The respondent craves liberty of this Hon'ble Court to produce the copies of the newspapers at the time of hearing of the matter, showing the results of the draws held from time to time being widely advertised in leading newspapers having extensive circulation, as submitted in the counter affidavit filed earlier."

16. Backdrop which led to framing of the policy notified on 21.11.2000 (noted in para 12) may be noted at this stage.

17. In one of the earlier decision dated 6.11.1995 passed in WP(C) 203/1995, T.R.S. Vardhan v. DDA, a Division bench of this Court noted that petitioner had applied for change in address in 1988. Allotment was made on 25.3.1989 but demand-cum-allotment advise was sent at old address. Petitioner had made a representation on 11.6.1990 pointing out to DDA its mistake. It was held that petitioner was not to suffer due to the mistake of DDA, and accordingly, directions were issued to DDA to allot to the petitioner a flat at the rate of 25.3.1989.

18. It has to be noted that petitioner of WP(C) 203/1995, T.R.S. Vardhan, was diligent in following up his claim.

19. Decision dated 10.8.2000 in LPA. No. 26/2000, DDA v. Jaspal Singh, following decision of the Division Bench in WP(C) No. 203/1995 held that allottee could not be made to suffer due to default of DDA. Facts noted were that on 21.2.1989, Jaspal Singh, the allottee had intimated change in address to DDA. In the year 1990 a flat was allotted to him and demand-cum-allotment letter was issued at old address. He learnt about this in the year 1998, whereupon he submitted a representation to be allotted a flat at the rates of 1990.

20. Decision of the Division Bench shows that issue of contributing negligence and stand taken by DDA in the additional affidavit, noted in para 4 above, being not urged by DDA was not considered by the Division Bench. Besides, petitioner had sought redressal within 1 year.

21. One Smt. Attar Kaur was a registrant under NPRS-1979. The priority was missed as her name was not included at a draw held on 20.1.1994 though names of persons lower in priority to her were included in the draw of lots. On learning about the fact that her name was wrongly excluded when draw was held on 20.1.1994, she filed a representation on 15.9.1998. DDA did not remedy the wrong. She filed a writ petition praying that flat be allotted to her on the price as of 20.1.1994. Learned Single Judge dismissed the writ petition. In appeal, being LPA No. 184/2000, Attar Kaur v. DDA, Division Bench, while directing that flat be allotted to Attar Kaur at rates prevalent on 20.1.1994, observed:-

"Rather the registrant must be allowed to pay the rates prevailing at the time when the mistake occurred unless it is established by the DDA that the mistake was known to the registrant and he/she did not bring it to the notice of the DDA within one year of the draw. In the instant case, there is nothing on record to show that the allottee, who is a widow, was aware of the mistake of the DDA. The mistake was discovered by the appellant only in September 1998. The observation of the learned Single Judge that the appellant knew that persons junior to her in the priority list have been included in the draw of lots held earlier in 1994 for allotment of a flat is not supported by the record. Nothing was shown to us by the respondent from the record that the appellant knew that persons junior to her in priority list had been included in the draw of lots held on January 20, 1994. We cannot allow the DDA to penalise the registrant for the mistake committed by it. The DDA must take care that a registrant is allotted a flat as per the rates which were prevalent at the time when he ought to have been allotted the same but for the mistake of the DDA. It is well settled that even for the fault of the court no litigant must be allowed to suffer. The same principle with greater force applies to the action of the administrative bodies." (Underlining added).

22. Since Division Bench of this court took the view in three concurrent cases that inaction of DDA or negligence of DDA should not visit the registrants with penal consequences, DDA took a conscious decision and formulated the policy notified on 21.11.2002.

23. A learned Single Judge of this court, S.K. Kaul, J., in the decision dated 16.9.2003 in WP(C) No. 6536/01 Gopal Krishan v. DDA noted that priority of the petitioner had matured in February, 1998 when draw was held and petitioner made representation in April, 2000. Refuting defense of DDA that petitioner should have kept a watch as to how the priority list moved, it was observed that:-

"It has to be appreciated that the scheme in issue is of the year 1979 and it took almost 19 years for allotment of the petitioner to mature. This is also the position with a number of registrants. I fail to appreciate how an allottee is expected to keep a tab on the priority numbers over almost two decades.

24. In WP(C) No. 1530/02 Mange Ram v. DDA, S.K. Kaul, J. considered the decision of the Division Bench in Attar Kaur's case. It was noted that name of the petitioner was wrongly excluded when draw of lots was held in the year 1990. It was further noted that petitioner, for the first time made representation to DDA in the year 2000. Contributory negligence of the petitioner in sleeping over his rights was considered. Following was observed:-

"There is no doubt that insofar as the period post April 2000 is concerned, the petitioner had approached the respondent authorities and the delay is on the part of the respondent authorities. Further, it has been held that the petitioner should have been included in the draw of lots in 1990. In my considered view, though the duty is on the respondent/DDA to inform in case of an allotment, it cannot be said that an allottee is absolved of all responsibility to make any enquiry for all times to come. A pointed query was raised to the counsel for the petitioner as to what would be the repercussion in case the petitioner had not approached the respondent for another ten years. Learned counsel states that still the petitioner would be entitled to the allotment at the 1990 price, as long as the scheme remains in force. It is also relevant to note that no separate draw of lots has been held for the SC/ST category after 1990. I am unable to accept the contention that the petitioner has no responsibility to make any enquiries for all times to come specially once it is known that no draw of lots has been held for the specific category after 1990. It cannot be said that the petitioner can come even after decades and state that if the scheme is in force, there is no obligation on the petitioner. In my considered view taking into consideration that similar persons as the petitioner were allotted the plots in 1990 and no allotment had been made for the said category, the petitioner is liable to pay interest at the rate of 12 per cent per annum, excluding a reasonable period of time to be granted to the petitioner after 1990 up to April, 2000 which the petitioner approached the respondent. Taking into consideration the facts and circumstances of the present case, I am of the considered view that the petitioner should pay interest from 1st April, 1992 to 31st March, 2000 for a period of eight years at the rate of 12 per cent per annum."

25. Decision of learned Single Judge in Mange Ram's case was challenged by Mange Ram in W.A. 248/03 Mange Ram v. DDA. Vide order dated 9.2.2004, Division Bench held that there was delay on part of Mange Ram in approaching the authorities. Decision of the learned Single Judge requiring him to pay interest was affirmed. However, rate of interest was reduced to 7% per annum from 12% as directed by the learned Single Judge since it was noted by the Division Bench that DDA was paying 7% interest on late payment tendered by DDA.

26. Issue cropped up again in WP(C) 7061/02 Sudha Gupta v. DDA. Petitioner missed her priority at the draw held on 21.3.1991. She detected mistake of DDA in December, 1991. She submitted a representation on 23.12.1991. She claimed that she was following up the matter with officers of DDA and getting no relief approached the State Consumer Forum in June, 1998. S.K. Kaul, J. vide order dated 26.8.2003 while directing allotment as on date when her priority matured directed interest to be paid @ 12% per annum from 1991 till 31.3.1997. I may note that counsel for the petitioner therein made a concession that petitioner was willing to pay the interest. DDA challenged the decision of the learned Single Judge in W.A. 469/04 DDA v. Sudha Gupta. Challenge failed. Writ Appeal was dismissed vide order dated 14.7.2004.

27. Reasoning to be found in the aforenoted decisions is that DDA would be liable to charge the price as on date when priority of the registrant matured and DDA was negligent in either not entering the name of the registrant at the draw of lots or posted the allotment letter at the wrong/previous address. Further, wherever the allottee, responded to DDA with promptness and brought to notice of DDA its mistake and did not approach court belatedly, interest liability was not fastened on the allottee. Where allottee was negligent in not enforcing his right within reasonable time, interest liability was saddled on the allottee. It is true that in Attar Kaur's case, Division Bench observed that it was for DDA to show negligence of the allottee, but that would not mean that DDA must lay before the court positive evidence of negligence. Negligence can be culled from a given set of facts.

28. In T.R.S. Vardhan's case, allottee missed benefit of allotment made on 25.3.1989 but brought the same to notice of DDA on 11.6.1990. He acted with promptness. Similarly, in Gopal Krishan's case, allottee missed benefit of allotment as of 17.2.1998 but acted with promptness by approaching DDA in April, 2000. It has to be noted that S.K. Kaul, J. opined that two years' delay was reasonable since allotment had matured after 19 years of registration and it was not expected for a registrant to keep a tab for 19 years. In Sudha Gupta's case, she conceded to recompense DDA with interest for the period she contributed in the delay. In Mange Ram's case, learned Single Judge as well as Division Bench required him to recompense DDA with interest for the delay occasioned by him in pursuing his rights.

29. Reasoning in Gopal Krishan's and Mange Ram's case, to my mind, is the key to the issue raised in the present batch of petitions. Another fact must be kept in mind. In none of the decisions, DDA pointed out that with periodic frequency, it was notifying the priority position.

30. None may be expected to read the newspaper regularly but it would be expected of literate persons that they read the newspaper infrequently. De hors that, it is expected of a person to follow up his claim with the authority concerned. In 1986, priorities were allocated. A rough idea as to when entitlement would mature could be formed by the registrants. Such of them who were high up in the priority list would have no justification to say that they realized that DDA had wronged them after 15 years of the wrong being committed. They would be expected to keep a tab on yearly basis. Those who were lower in the priority list would have some justification for delay in approaching the court for the reason that they would be justified in not keeping a tab each year as to what DDA was doing. They would be expected to keep a tab on bi yearly basis or atleast every third year. In other words, position on the priority list would determine the quantum of contributory negligence. To my mind, keeping in view the fact that initial registration was of 1979, priorities were allocated in 1986 and till today DDA is satisfying the registration, two to four years' delay by the registrants should not be held as contributory towards the delay for the simple reason that it was uncertain as to when allotment would mature. Two to Four years' span is a reasonable time period for one to expect priority to mature. Delay thereafter is on the shoulders of the registrant.

31. DDA has indicated to this court the fact that as of now 56 cases of missing priority or claim by allottee that allotment letter was sent at a wrong address have been detected. Possibility of more cases cannot be ruled out as in the present batch itself I find that 4 cases do not find mention in the list of 56 cases submitted to court by DDA.

32. In case of two of the petitioners, Sh. Anil Kumar Jain and Sh. Sukhdev Singh, it has to be noted that price difference to be borne by DDA is to the tune of Rs. 3,44,180/- inasmuch as entitlement of said petitioners mature in 1990 when disposal cost of the flat was Rs. 96,900/-. Current Cost being Rs. 4,41,080/-.

33. If DDA were to bear entire loss, financial burden on DDA is likely to cross rupees two crores. DDA is not a profit making body. It operates on no profit no loss basis. DDA would recover this cost from other projects. In other words the unknown third party would be subsidising the loss suffered by DDA.

34. Executive Policy can be withdrawn if public interest so requires. Financial implications would permit DDA to withdraw office order dated 21.11.2002. Besides, decision of this court pursuant whereto policy was formulated was pronounced being not made aware that whenever D.D.A. holds a draw it issues press advertisements notifying the priority which have matured.

35. Mr. Anil Sapra, learned counsel for DDA states that many persons had sold their priority and were intimating change of address being that of the purchaser. Therefore, DDA was requiring the allottee who sought change of address to submit proof of change of residence. I see no reason why DDA cannot do so. At least 3 cases have come to my notice where a purchaser has come to this court stating that he had purchased the registration. One such case being WP(C) No. 19777/04 Ajay Kumar v. DDA was listed on 15.12.2004.

36. Individual cases be now dealt with.

37. WP(C) No. 17473/04. Petitioner claims to have intimated change of address on 28.10.1986. Priority matured in 1989. Allotment letter was posted at old address. Petitioner claims to have learnt about his priority maturing on 1.5.2004 when he read DDA's advertisement in Hindustan Times.

38. This petitioner was fairly high up in the priority drawn in the year 1986. He has no justification for not keeping a tab on yearly basis. His inaction is writ large. Had he been vigilant, mistake of DDA could have been set right in the year 1990. He must bear part of the burden.

39. DDA is directed to verify whether he submitted change of address on 28.10.1986 with proof. Needful be done within 4 weeks. If it is found that this petitioner had submitted application for change of address with proof, DDA is directed to allot a flat to this petitioner by entering his name in the next draw to be held. Demand would be raised as per rate of year 1989 with simple interest @ 12% P.A. w.e.f. 1.4.1989 till date of demand.

40. WP(C) No. 19095/2004. Petitioner claims to have intimated change of address on 25.5.1988. He had applied for a MIG flat. Janta Category flat was allotted to him in 1994. To a few others who had applied for a MIG flat, Janta Category flat was allotted. On 24.3.1995 in WP(C) No. 1906/94 O.P. Jain and Ors. v. DDA it was held that those who do not take Janta Category flat, MIG Category flat be allotted. In August 1996 MIG Category flat was allotted to him but demand was posted at old address. Petitioner claims to have learnt of this in 1997. He gave a representation on 3.3.1997.

41. He claims to have submitted another representation on 25.5.1999. This petitioner has been vigilant. In less than a year he had made a representation.

42. DDA is directed to verify whether he submitted change of address on 25.5.1988. Needful be done within 4 weeks. If it is found that this petitioner had submitted application for change of address with proof, DDA is directed to allot a flat to this petitioner by entering his name in the next draw to be held. Demand would be raised as per rate of year August 1996. No interest would be charged from this petitioner.

43. WP(C) No. 14575/04. Petitioner claims to have intimated change of address on 19.06.1981. Priority matured on 14.3.1990. Allotment letter was posted at old address. Petitioner claims to have learnt about his priority maturing on 1.5.2004 when he read DDA's advertisement in Hindustan Times.

44. This petitioner was fairly high up in the priority drawn in the year 1986. He has no justification for not keeping a tab on yearly basis. His inaction is writ large. Had he been vigilant, mistake of DDA could have been detected and set right in the year 1990. He must bear part of the burden.

45. DDA is directed to verify whether he submitted change of address on 19.6.1981 with proof. Needful be done within four weeks. If it is found that this petitioner had submitted application for change of address with proof, DDA is directed to allot a flat to this petitioner by entering his name in the next draw to be held. Demand would be raised as per rates as on 14.3.1990 with simple interest @ 12% p.a. with effect from 14.3.1990 till date of demand.

46. WP(C) No. 12407/04. This is a case of missing priority. Name of this petitioner was not entered at any draw of lots. As per counter affidavit of DDA, priority of the petitioner matured on 7.11.1996. Thus, right of this petitioner was violated on 7.11.1996.

47. This petitioner was fairly low down in the priority drawn in the year 1986. He has justification for not keeping a tab on yearly basis. Even otherwise on 7.10.1997 he made a request to DDA that flat should be allotted to him. There is no lapse of this petitioner.

48. DDA is directed to allot a flat to this petitioner by entering his name in the next draw to be held. Demand would be raised as per rates as on 7.11.1996. this petitioner would not be liable to pay any interest.

49. WP(C) No. 1093/01. Petitioner's father was the original registrant. Petitioner claims that his father intimated change of address on 30.05.1988. Petitioner states that his father died in January, 1989 and on 31.1.1989 he applied for transfer of allotment in his name. All documents required were submitted. Priority matured in the year 1991. Allotment letter was posted at old address. Petitioner claims to have learnt about his priority maturing in the year 2000.

50. Record of the writ petition would reveal that father of the petitioner died intestate. When petitioner applied for transfer of registration in his name, he did not enclose all requisite documents. Relinquishment by other heirs was not submitted. It was only on 14.1.1997 that the petitioner completed the documentation required. Mutation of the registration was effected in his favor on 11.12.2000. Thus, the issue has to be considered in the context of the petitioner not completing the requisite formalities. Petitioner having completed all formalities in the year 2000 would be entitled to have the name entered at a draw of lots as of the year 2000 for the reason that the earlier allotment could not have crystalized in a right in favor of the petitioner since the petitioner had not completed the documentation. This petitioner has to pay as of the year 2000.

51. It may be noted that the petitioner had died and his mother has been brought on record as his legal heir. On 23.7.2004, counsel for the petitioner had made a statement that flat No. 3, Pocket B-6, Sector 15, Rohini was kept reserved vide order dated 16.2.2001 and if said flat was allotted to the petitioner at the rate applicable in the year 2001, petitioner would not press any further claim.

52. Direction is accordingly issued to DDA to issue a demand cum allotment letter in favor of Smt. Kuldeep Kaur allotting to her flat No. 3, Pocket B-6, Sector 15, Rohini and raise a demand as of the rate applicable in the year 2001. If said flat is not available, name of Smt. Kuldeep Kaur be entered in a draw of lots whenever next held and flat be allotted to her at the rate applicable in the year 2000.

53. WP(C) No. 12779/04. Petitioner claims to have intimated change of address on 25.11.1988 when she applied for mutation of the registration in her name on the death of her husband. Petitioner claims to have completed all documentation by 14.6.1989. Priority matured on 14.3.1990. Allotment letter was posted at old address. Petitioner claims to have learnt about his priority maturing on 1.5.2004 when she read DDA's advertisement in Hindustan Times.

54. This petitioner was fairly high up in the priority drawn in the year 1986. She has no justification for not keeping a tab on yearly basis. Her inaction is writ large. Had she been vigilant, mistake of DDA could have been detected and set right in the year 1990. She must bear part of the burden.

55. DDA is directed to verify whether she submitted change of address on 25.11.1988 with proof. Needful be done within four weeks. If it is found that this petitioner had submitted application for change of address with proof, DDA is directed to allot a flat to this petitioner by entering her name in the next draw to be held. Demand would be raised as per rates as on 14.3.1990 with simple interest @ 12% p.a. with effect from 14.3.1990 till date of demand.

56. WP(C) No. 16766/04. This is a case of missing priority. Priority of the petitioner was 18139 and at a draw held on 21.3.1994, priority number up to 18150 were entered in the draw of lots. Petitioner claims that when he went to check his position in March, 1998, he learnt that people lower in priority were offered flats. On 24.3.1998 he made a representation. DDA entered his name at a draw held on 16.3.2000. Flat No. 459, Sector 19, Pocket-2, Dwarka was allotted to him. Demand cum allotment letter was issued on 19.6.2000. Demand was on the rates as applicable in the year 2000. Petitioner did not pay. He corresponded on the issue of price to be charged. Present petition was filed on 14.10.2004.

57. There is no doubt that DDA committed a mistake in the year 1994 but I see no reason why this petitioner should have checked up his position in the priority as of the year 1998. As noted above, this petitioner, keeping in view his priority position was expected to check up the position every second year. Further, when DDA did not reduce the cost as charged in the year 2000, there is no reason for this petitioner to have filed the petition in the year 2004. This petitioner has been negligent in pursuing his claim even after the year 2000.

58. DDA is directed to enter the name of the petitioner at the next draw and offer flat at the rate applicable as of the year 1994 together with simple interest @ 12% p.a. with effect from 31.3.1994 till date of demand cum allotment letter.

60. WP(C) No. 14705/04. Petitioner claims to have intimated change of address on 10.02.1986. Priority matured in November, 1996. Allotment letter was posted at old address. Petitioner claims to have learnt about his priority maturing in month of March, 2004. DDA entered name of the petitioner at a draw of lots held on 31.3.2004. Unfortunately for him, flat allotted to this petitioner was already allotted to a third party.

61. This petitioner was fairly low down in the priority drawn in the year 1986. He has some justification for not keeping a tab on yearly basis. However, I see no reason why this petitioner would check up the position only in the year 2004. Had he been vigilant, mistake of DDA could have been detected and set right in the year 1997 or 1998. He must bear part of the burden.

62. DDA is directed to verify whether he submitted change of address on 19.6.1981 with proof. Needful be done within four weeks. If it is found that this petitioner had submitted application for change of address with proof, DDA is directed to allot a flat to this petitioner by entering his name in the next draw to be held. Demand would be raised as per rates as in the month of November, 1996 with simple interest @ 12% p.a. with effect from November, 1996 till date of demand.

63. WP(C) No. 14186/04. Priority of this petitioner matured in March, 2001. Allotment letter was posted at wrong address. Petitioner claims to have learnt about his priority maturing in May, 2004.

64. This petitioner was fairly low down in the priority drawn in the year 1986. He has justification for not keeping a tab on yearly basis. It has to be noted that priority of this petitioner matured in March, 2001. He has good reason to check up his position in March, 2004.

65. DDA is directed to allot a flat to this petitioner by entering his name in the next draw to be held. Demand would be raised as per rates as on March, 2001. This petitioner would not be liable to pay any interest.

66. WP(C) No. 15090/04. Petitioner claims to have intimated change of address on 22.02.1989. Priority matured on 7.8.1996. Allotment letter was posted at old address. Petitioner claims to have learnt about his priority maturing on 1.5.2004 when he read DDA's advertisement in Hindustan Times.

67. This petitioner was fairly low down in the priority drawn in the year 1986. He has some justification for not keeping a tab on yearly basis. However, I see no reason why this petitioner chose to go and verify his status in the year 2004. He was expected to check up his priority position every two to three years. He must bear part of the burden.

68. DDA is directed to verify whether he submitted change of address on 22.2.1989 with proof. Needful be done within four weeks. If it is found that this petitioner had submitted application for change of address with proof, DDA is directed to allot a flat to this petitioner by entering his name in the next draw to be held. Demand would be raised as per rates as on 7.8.1996 with simple interest @ 12% p.a. with effect from 7.8.1996 till date of demand.

69. WP(C) No. 14552/04. This petitioner claims that his priority mature at a draw held on 15.2.1991 but he did not receive the demand cum allotment letter inasmuch as it was posted at an incorrect address, a fact admitted by the DDA. Petitioner claims that in May, 2003 he visited the office of DDA to check up why flat was not allotted to him and thereupon he learnt about the aforesaid fact.

70. This petitioner was fairly high up in the priority drawn in the year 1986. He has no justification for not keeping a tab on yearly basis. His inaction is writ large. Had he been vigilant, mistake of DDA could have been detected and set right in the year 1991. He must bear part of the burden.

71. DDA is directed to allot a flat to this petitioner by entering his name in the next draw to be held. Demand would be raised as per rates as on 15.2.1991 with simple interest @ 12% p.a. with effect from 15.2.1991 till date of demand.

72. WP(C) No. 12927/04. Petitioner claims to have intimated change of address on 24.05.1999 when she applied for transfer of registration standing in name of her husband. Priority matured in June, 1999. Allotment letter was posted at old address. Petitioner claims to have learnt about her priority maturing on 1.5.2004 when she claims to have seen a newspaper advertisement issued by the DDA. Case of the DDA is that while applying for mutation, petitioner, though gave a new address but she did not request that DDA should effect change of address. It is also the case of DDA that this petitioner has not completed the procedural formalities for mutation being effected in her name.

73. This petitioner was fairly low down in the priority drawn in the year 1986. She has justification for not keeping a tab on yearly basis. Priority of this petitioner matured in the year 1999. She detected the same in the year 2003. She was expected to keep a tab every two to three years. Four years is not too unreasonable.

74. DDA is directed to verify whether she submitted change of address with proof. It may be clarified that DDA has accepted receiving letter from this petitioner. Verification would therefore be restricted to submission of proof of change of address. Needful be done within four weeks. If it is found that this petitioner had submitted the proof, DDA is directed to allot a flat to this petitioner by entering her name in the next draw to be held. Demand would be raised as per rates as on June, 1999. This petitioner would not be liable to pay any interest.

75. WP(C) No. 14443/04. It is not denied that change of address furnished by late husband of the petitioner was recorded by DDA as being BJ-149, Poorvi Shalimar Bagh, Delhi. Right matured on 27.9.1999. Flat was allotted but demand cum allotment was sent at the old address. Letter came back. It was re-posted but the address now mentioned was BJ-49, (Poorvi) Shalimar Bagh. It was obviously not received because address actually was BJ-149, Poorvi Shalimar Bagh. Petitioner claims to have learnt of this when she read a public notice on 1.5.2004. She claims to have submitted all documents for transfer of registration in her name on 9.8.2004. In the counter affidavit, aforesaid facts have not been denied.

76. This petitioner was fairly low down in the priority drawn in the year 1986. She has justification for not keeping a tab on yearly basis. Her husband and thereafter this petitioner was expected to keep a watch on the list every two to three years. Right matured in September, 1999. Two to three years watching period could well be four years keeping in view that right matured after 20 years.

77. DDA is directed to allot a flat to this petitioner by entering her name in the next draw to be held. Demand would be raised as per rates as on September, 1999.

78. WP(C) No. 19674/04. Petitioner claims to have intimated change of address on 20.01.1995. Priority matured in September, 2001. Allotment letter was posted at old address. Petitioner claims to have learnt about his priority maturing on 1.5.2004 when he read DDA's advertisement in Hindustan Times.

79. This petitioner was fairly low down in the priority drawn in the year 1989. He has justification for not keeping a tab on yearly basis. This petitioner was fully justified in keeping a tab every two to three years.

80. DDA is directed to verify whether he submitted change of address on 20.1.1995 with proof. Needful be done within four weeks. If it is found that this petitioner had submitted application for change of address with proof, DDA is directed to allot a flat to this petitioner by entering his name in the next draw to be held. Demand would be raised as per rates as in September, 2001.

81. WP(C) No. 14122/04. Petitioner's husband had sought registration. Petitioner claims to have intimated change of address on 18.01.1991 when she applied for mutation on death of her husband. Mutation was effected in her name. DDA corresponded with this petitioner at the new address. Priority matured on 28.3.2001. Allotment letter was posted at old address. Petitioner claims to have learnt about her priority maturing on 1.5.2004 when she read DDA's advertisement in Hindustan Times.

82. This petitioner was fairly low down in the priority drawn in the year 1986. She has justification for not keeping a tab on yearly basis.

83. Mr. R.K. Saini submitted that vide order dated 23.8.2004, one of the two MIG flats being No. 201 or 202, Sector 12, Pocket 8, Phase 2, Dwarka, New Delhi, if already not allotted was kept reserved for the petitioner. Mr. Saini stated that as per his information one flat is still lying unallotted. He stated that if DDA were to allot said flat to the petitioner, she is ready to pay the current cost.

84. Direction is accordingly issued to DDA that if either of the two flats being 201 or 202, Sector 12, Pocket VIII, Phase II, Dwarka are unallotted, one may be allotted to this petitioner at the current cost and demand cum allotment be raised within four weeks. If neither flat is available, name of this petitioner be entered in the next draw of lots and a flat be allotted to her but the said allotment would be charged at the rate as on 28.3.2001 when petitioner's entitlement otherwise had matured.

85. WP(C) No. 13757/04. Petitioner was an employee of DDA. He furnished his residential address as of the year 1979 when he had sought registration. He retired on 30.8.1989. He did not intimate change of address. Right matured on 14.3.1990. Letter was posted at a completely different address. Petitioner claims that being an employee of DDA, he was receiving pension and DDA had his new address. It is also submitted that in any case, DDA by posting the letter at a completely different address, not even the one furnished by the petitioner, ensured that the letter would under no circumstances have reached him. As per the petitioner he learnt about the aforesaid allotment in 1997. He made a representation on 1.10.1997. Petitioner was assured that his name would be entered at a draw of lots. DDA did nothing in the matter and as a result, petitioner had no option but to file the petition.

86. Counter affidavit of DDA admits that when petitioner sought registration, he furnished address being house No. 794, Sector 1, R.K. Puram, New Delhi and that the demand was sent at a completely different address being house No. 194, Sector 1, R.K. Puram.

87. To cut the controversy short, Ms. Richa Kapoor stated that petitioner was willing to pay the price as of the year 1997 for the reason that the petitioner brought to notice of DDA its mistake as of 1997 and there was no justification for DDA not to effect allotment in said years.

88. I find no justification for the DDA not to have rectified its mistake in the year 1997.

89. Direction is accordingly issued to DDA to enter the name of this petitioner at the draw of lots whenever next held. Flat would be allotted to this petitioner as of the rate in October, 1997.

90. All the petitions stand disposed of with directions indicated qua each of the petition. In the facts and circumstances of the cases, there shall be no order as to costs.