New Delhi, Sep 22 (PTI) Giving a quietus to 32-year-old legal tussle over allotment of land, the Supreme Court on Thursday directed NOIDA to provide 844 members of a group housing society of Central government employees, a flat of 1800 sqft in Sector 43 located in the heart of the city.
A bench of Chief Justice U U Lalit and Justices Indira Banerjee and KM Joseph noted that New Okhla Industrial Authority (NOIDA) is agreeable to re-lay part of Sector 43 and to make allotments of multi-storeyed flats in favour of 844 persons; with each of those flats admeasuring about 1800 square feet.
"In the premises, we exercise our jurisdiction and power to do complete justice in the matter and direct NOIDA to extend to said 844 persons the benefit, as indicated in the affidavit filed on behalf of NOIDA", the bench said.
It added that the price of said apartments shall be fixed by NOIDA purely in accordance with its extant policy and the applicable norms.
"The litigation in the instant case started way back in the 1990s and since then the matters have been pending in Courts of law. Three writ petitions and a first appeal are still pending consideration before the High Court. In the fitness of things, in our considered view, the entire controversy can be set at rest on the understanding that 844 members of the Respondent Society shall be provided with apartments, admeasuring about 1800 square feet, as stated by NOIDA in its affidavit filed pursuant to the order dated August 23, 2021, passed by this Court", it said.
The bench said that this direction will not only give "quietus to the pending litigation" between the parties but will also provide homes to said 844 persons and satisfy their long-standing needs.
The bench noted the submission of the 'Kendriya Karamchari Sehkari Grih Nirman Samiti' that the claim was restricted to a total of 977 members out of which 133 persons had sold away their interest without taking due permission from NOIDA and as such, the transferees of said 133 persons, according to NOIDA, cannot lay any claim.
It directed that NOIDA shall look into the claims of 133 persons and if satisfied, may grant them similar benefits as would be extended to 844 members.
The bench further said that the list of those 844 persons shall be furnished by the Society within two weeks from today under an authenticated certificate and such list shall be taken to be final and conclusive and consequential exercise shall be undertaken by NOIDA within three months and appropriate allotment letters be issued to the concerned 844 persons.
It said, "Upon issuance of such allotment letters, Writ Petitions... and first appeals pending before the High Court, shall be withdrawn by the concerned parties and all claims raised by Respondent-Society or could be raised by anyone claiming under Respondent-Society, shall stand extinguished".
The top court passed the verdict on an appeal filed by NOIDA against an interim order of the Allahabad High Court on the writ petitions filed by the society challenging the orders passed in Ceiling proceedings holding that there were excess lands in the hands of Society which vested in the State.
Certain parcels of land were purchased by the housing Society from some individual landholders but according to the authorities, the transfers in favour of the Society were illegal on two counts-- Such transfers were affected in violation of the provisions of the UP Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act, 1950 and, therefore, the lands vested in the State Government and secondly the applicability of Ceiling Law in terms of which any holding greater than 12.5 acres would vest in the State Government.
The housing Society, on the other hand, had contended that in keeping with the recommendations made by Khodaiji Committee constituted by the concerned authority, whenever any land held by a Cooperative Society was acquired by NOIDA, 40 per cent of the acquired land would be allocated to the members of such Cooperative Society by way of plots.
It was submitted that in the exercise so undertaken, 1754 persons, who were members of the Society were found eligible and land admeasuring 3,23,650 sqft was directed to be allocated by NOIDA to said 1754 members.
However, there were numerous complaints about fake membership of the Society and an enquiry was therefore undertaken by Prabhat Kumar, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of NOIDA, who recommended cancellation of allotment made in favour of said members of Society.
"Consequently, after issuance of show cause notice dated July 8, 1997, NOIDA issued a letter dated May 5, 1998, cancelling all such allocations", it was submitted by the society adding that later a trial court in an original suit proceeding set aside the May 5, 1998 order.
It was found that though the initial membership of the Society was stated to be 2149 members, after a process of verification and re-verification the list of 1053 members was finalized.
Even out of 1053 members 76 members had encashed their cheques
while 133 persons had sold their interest in favour of transferees bringing the total number of plot owners to 844.
The order of the trial court was challenged by NOIDA in the High Court and cross objections were filed by the Society. PTI MNL MNL RKS