Court Order: 15 November 2021

Notes from hearing before the Supreme Court in WP(C) 1023/ 2021 – Shanti Devi v. Union of India

The court summarised the arguments under six points:

  1. Eligibility Criteria: The court summarised the arguments by both the parties, and decided that the eligibility criteria under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (PMAY), is what should apply. Therefore, people applying for rehabilitation, may for the purpose of proving identity, rely on “Voter ID Card/Any other unique identification number or a certificate of house ownership from Revenue Authority of beneficiary’s native district” under the PMAY. However, the court went on to say that, additionally, the MCF must establish “other relevant facts” only then will a person become eligible.
  2. Cost of the flats: The MCF, relying on the market value of the land upon which the houses of Dabua Colony and Bapu Nagar are made, stated that the the average value of the land itself was over Rs.6,00,000 and the present value of the construction was over Rs. 4,00,000. Thereby, justifying the amount of Rs.3,77,500 that are to be paid for the flats under the rehabilitation scheme.
  3. Cost Utility Services:  With respect to the cost of utility services as mentioned in clause G (9)(b) the Court held that the said clause, which permits revocation of allotment on not paying the charges of electricity, water, sewerage, does not need to be struck down, but ought to be implemented in the proper spirit without being vindictive. Further the court would not express any opinion on any individual cases, and the applicants who face any difficulty may take appropriate steps.
  4. Last date for filing the Application for Rehabilitation: The court held that no further extension of time would be given by the Court. However it was open to the MCF to extend the time if they are inclined.
  5. Solatium amount: The Court did not increase the solatium amount or the period for which solatium was payable. However, any eligible person who has not received the solatium amount can make an appropriate representation before the MCF for the payment of the same.
  6. Use only for residential purposes: The Court held that the allotment of the flat would be for residential purposes only, and the flats cannot be put to commercial use.

The Petition of Shanti Devi v. Union of India (WP (c) 1023/ 2021) was disposed of.