When DDA Went Beyond the Prin­ci­ple Of Equal­ity

Consumer Voice - - Housing Board -

It is an es­tab­lished law that the pric­ing of flats or plots of land is un­der the au­thor­ity of the con­cerned state’s hous­ing boards, and courts do not in­ter­fere in such mat­ters. How­ever, in the case of Ra­jen­der Prasad & Oth­ers against Delhi De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity (DDA), the court had to take a tough stance.

In this in­trigu­ing case, the Na­tional Com­mis­sion found DDA go­ing beyond the prin­ci­ple of equal­ity by charg­ing cus­tomers in an ar­bi­trary man­ner. The com­plaint said be­fore the court that a few al­lot­tees were charged lesser amount un­der the same scheme with no changes in land cost, con­struc­tion cost or tax­a­tion struc­ture.

DDA, after al­lot­ment of flats to a group of cus­tomers, made two ma­jor changes in the scheme: a) the share money shall not form part of cost­ing, and b) ser­vice charges shall not be part of over­all cost of land. It seemed th­ese changes were ben­e­fit­ing the ones who ap­plied late.

The Na­tional Com­mis­sion, in its or­der on 19 May 2014, held it as dis­crim­i­na­tion and ar­bi­trari­ness against those who had been de­liv­ered pos­ses­sion ear­lier on and were charged more. The Com­mis­sion was of the opin­ion that the change in for­mula for cal­cu­lat­ing to­tal cost had to be made uni­formly ap­pli­ca­ble to all al­lot­tees in same area un­der the same scheme if cer­tain al­lot­ments were made be­fore pass­ing of res­o­lu­tion. Hence, DDA was duty-bound to re­fund the amount to such al­lot­tees if charged ex­tra.

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