By Srishti Ojha
This article was published on LiveLaw.in website. Read it here.
The Supreme Court on Monday permitted the persons applying for rehabilitation in relation to Khori Gaon demolition to refer to documents allowed under Pradhan Manti Awas Yojana for establishing their identity, subject to further verification.
While modulating the eligibility criteria framed by the Municipal Corporation of Faridabad for Khori Gaon Rehabilitation to this limited extent, the Bench has clarified that those documents by itself cannot be basis get allotment and following vital facts are required to be established by such applicant:
- That the structure referred to be applicant existed before cut-off date specified in Corporation scheme
- The stated structure was in fact demolished by Corporation during demolition action.
- More importantly, no one else from family or occupant of such demolished structure has applied under Corporation scheme.
“It has been clarified that even if the applicant relies on documents in Central scheme, besides documents in eligibility criteria of Corporation scheme must establish these relevant facts, only then they would be entitled for allotment or become eligible for rehabilitation”.
The Bench has observed that these are matters which need to be verified by Corporation authorities besides other relevant facts as may be required in case to case basis.
The documents referred to under the Central scheme which the incumbent can produce to establish their identity include aadhar card/ voter id card/ any other unique identification number or certificate of house ownership from revenue authority from beneficiary’s native district etc.
A Bench comprising Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari passed a detailed order dealing with all 6 issued raised in the petitions challenging certain clauses of Rehabilitation housing plan formulated by Municipal Corporation by the Municipal Corporation of Faridabad with respect to the demolitions at Khori Gaon.
Challenge To Eligibility criteria Clause:
The Bench noted the petitioners’ arguments that if the flats which are being allotted to the eligible persons are constructed under PM Awas Yojna scheme, eligibility criteria cannot be restricted to 3 parameters specified namely voters list, Parivar pehchan patra and electric connection.
” In our opinion it will be open to aspiring person for Rehabilitation allotment to rely on documents referred to in central scheme for purpose of establishing their identity. However, those documents by itself cannot be basis to establish other vital facts required to be established by such applicant.” the Bench said.
Cost of Rs 3,77,500 Imposed As Cost Approved By SC:
The Supreme Court has dismissed the challenge to the cost of Rs 3,77,500 as being charged by the Corporation for allottee of a flat to eligible allottees.
The Bench has approved the cost noting that the Corporation has offered this price when proposed cost of each flat has been calculated as Rs as 10,76,900. It has been noted that the allottee won’t be required to deposit entire amount on allotment, has an option to pay the in instalments in 20 years with Upfront amount being only Rs 2000.
The Bench also noted that the cost of flat assessed at Rs 377500 has been decided by Government and not determined by Corporation.
“Much debate was on basis of facts and figures concerning calculation of cost of flats at given site under Central scheme. That however pertained to year 2012-2013 and cannot be the basis to countenance the Grievance of the petitioners. Suffice it to observe that analogy adopted by petitioners for questioning the cost of flats determined by state at 377500 is not feasible and needs to be rejected.” the Bench said.
If Facilities Are Used Charges Have To Be Paid:
With regard to challenge to clause G9 obligating the allottee to pay for electricity, water etc. the Bench has observed that it is not open for allottee to argue that they will use facilities and not pay charges in that regard.
The Bench noted that while charges for water and sewerage would be paid to the Corporation, the electricity would be provided by another entity and not Corporation. Nevertheless it’ll be used in campus & common sharing will have to be shared. Expression Electricity be understood accordingly.
Allotment Revocation If Charges Not Paid To Be Handled On Case To Case Basis
The Bench made note of the petitioners’ Grievance that condition specified in clause b is very onerous and question of cancellation or revocation of allotment shouldn’t arise even on non payment of electricity charges.
The Court has held that the consequences on default will have to be considered on case to case basis and it will be open for allottees to make representations to authorities and explain the fact that he hasn’t committed any default & that they shouldn’t be liable to pay amount as demanded.
However, the Bench has stated that it is not open for an allottee to admit the amount and not discharge the liability and still insist to remain in occupation of flat without invoking revocation.
The Bench stated that it finds the provision reasonable if implemented correctly, not to be vindictive and to make allottee discharge their obligation.
The Bench has clarified that it is not dealing with all situations which will have to be dealt with according to the said stipulations on a case to case basis.
SC refuses to Extend Last Date Of Applications:
The Bench has held that it is not possible to alter cutoff date and reopen entire Rehabilitation process which is pending.
“As an interim direction court had permitted provisional allotment. Accordingly we don’t wish to reopen allotment process which is already delayed due to pendency of these proceeding” the Bench said
Question Of Solatium Doesn’t Arise If Allotments Made:
The Bench has observed that those eligible have been allotted provisional Accomodation as an interim measure. Since they have been allotted, question of giving solatium to them doesn’t arise.
With regard to the grievance that solatium hasn’t been given to anyone who’s otherwise eligible resident, the Bench has held that ut is a matter that can be raised before Commissioner in first place by concerned persons in 4 weeks from today. The Commissioner has been directed to decide it on a case to case basis expeditiously
Allottees To Use Flat Only For Residential Purposes: With regard to challenge to clause 11, the petitioners argued that several allottees were doing some commercial activity in premises which have been demolished.
The Bench had held that the same can’t be basis of direction to rehabilitate person and let them continue with commercial activities. Therefore Eligible persona will be obliged to use flat only for residential purpose.
The petitioners were represented through Senior Advance Sanjay Parikh and Advocate Srishti Agnihotri and the Corporation represented by Senior Advocate Arun Bhardwaj, Additional Advocate General for Haryana.
In the first week of August, the Apex Court had asked the State of Haryana to expedite the consideration of the draft policy of rehabilitation submitted by the Municipal Corporation of Faridabad with respect to the demolitions carried out in the Khori Gaon forest land, and take a final decision preferably before August 25th.
On 7th June 2021, the Supreme Court had directed the removal of all encroachments on forest land within 6 weeks in a plea seeking a stay on the demolition of 10,000 houses that has been planned by the Municipal Corporation of Faridabad at Khori Gaon in Faridabad, Haryana.
Case Title: Municipal Corporation Faridabad v. Khori Gaon Residents Welfare Association (Regd.) Through Its President & Ors