In the absence of application for allotment of land for public purpose – in the absence of interest to participate in court proceedings, when the allotment was cancelled after knowing the mistake and alloted to LIC- the purpose of order of ‘division bench to persue the matter when parties appears before the authority serves no purpose and as such it is set aside.

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NON­REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO(S). 5308 OF 2010
SMT. KASTURIBAI SUKHARAM
KHANDELWAL TRUST .….APPELLANT(S)
VERSUS
INDORE DEVELOPMENT
AUTHORITY & ORS. .…RESPONDENT(S)
WITH
CIVIL APPEAL NO(S). 5309 OF 2010
INDORE DEVELOPMENT
AUTHORITY ….APPELLANT(S)
VERSUS
SHRI KHANDELWAL TRUST & ORS. ….RESPONDENT(S)
J U D G M E N T
Rastogi, J.

  1. Both the appellants (respondents before the High Court) being
    dissatisfied with the impugned judgment dated 4th November, 2008
    have preferred these appeals.
  2. The facts in brief relevant for the purpose are that the appellant
    Smt. Kasturibai Sukharam Khandelwal Trust and the 2nd respondent
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    Shri Khandelwal Trust (writ petitioner) are registered public trusts.
    The 2nd respondent made an application directly to the Indore
    Development Authority(hereinafter referred to as “Authority”) for
    allotment of land for public purpose and to carry out trust activities on
    30th September, 1988. In sequel thereto, another application was
    addressed to the then Chief Minister on 29th December, 1988 for
    allotment of land for the purpose of construction of a community hall
    to be used for public purposes.
  3. The authority thereafter issued an advertisement dated 7th
    September, 1989 inviting applications for allotment of land to
    registered institutions indicating necessary requirements to be
    furnished by the institutions desirous for allotment of land. In
    response to the advertisement, the appellant Trust submitted an
    application on 9th October, 1989. After the applications were
    processed, the authority took a decision to allot 50,000 sq. ft land in
    scheme no. 54/75­C in favour of the appellant Trust vide
    communication dated 2nd July, 1990 and simultaneously, the
    authority also communicated the decision for allotment of 30,000 sq.
    ft. of land in Scheme No. 54/74­C to the 2nd respondent vide
    communication dated 2nd July, 1990.
  4. Immediately after it reveals to the authority of the allotment
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    being made to both the trusts of the same community at the same
    place, the authority revisited its decision and under its Resolution no.
    21 dated 11th February, 1991 decided that it may not be advisable to
    allot land to two trusts of Khandelwal community, cancelled the
    application of the 2nd respondent and confirmed the allotment in
    favour of the appellant Trust and that became the subject matter of
    challenge in a writ petition filed at the instance of the 2nd respondent
    under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.
  5. The Single Judge of the High Court, after hearing the parties,
    dismissed the writ petition under its order dated 1st February, 2001
    which came to be challenged in letters patent appeal. The Division
    Bench of the High Court of Madhya Pradesh, taking note of the rival
    claim of the parties and noticing the fact that, in the interregnum
    period, the plot had also been allotted to Life Insurance
    Corporation(respondent no. 4) which was nowhere the subject matter
    but still taking note of the material on record and giving quietus to the
    dispute, disposed of the writ petition under its order impugned dated
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    th November, 2008 with a direction to the authority to reconsider the
    matter of allotment of land afresh after affording opportunity of
    hearing to the parties and assess the comparative assessment and
    merit of the appellant Trust and 2nd respondent and pass speaking
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    order in accordance with law.
  6. Mr. Ranjit Kumar, learned senior counsel for the appellant Trust
    submits that the allotment could be made in terms of the Regulations
    for Disposal, 1987(hereinafter being referred to as “Disposal
    Regulations 1987”) which has been framed in exercise of power under
    Section 58 read with Section 86 of the Madhya Pradesh Nagar Tatha
    Gram Nivesh Adhiniyam, 1973 and procedure for allotment has been
    provided under Chapter III and Regulation 3(A) clearly postulates that
    where the authority proposes to transfer any property except as
    provided under Regulation 3(B), 3(C) and 3(D), it may do so by (a)
    public auction; or (b) inviting tenders or (iii) inviting applications from
    eligible persons either on continuing registration basis or otherwise, as
    may be specified in terms of the advertisement.
  7. The present appellant Trust submitted application pursuant to
    an advertisement inviting applications dated 7th September, 1989 and
    indisputedly no application was submitted by the 2nd respondent, still
    the application was processed but, after noticing by the authority that
    the allotment of land to 2nd respondent being in contravention of
    Chapter III of Disposal Regulations, 1987, the mistake was
    immediately rectified by cancelling the letter of allotment in favour of
    the 2nd respondent and confirmed the allotment in favour of the
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    appellant Trust under its Resolution No. 21 dated 11th February, 1991
    and the decision of the Authority being in conformity with Chapter III
    of Disposal Regulations, 1987, interference in writ appeal was not
    justiciable and deserves to be interfered by this Court.
  8. Learned counsel further submitted that the 2nd respondent does
    not appear to be interested in the instant proceedings to put forth his
    claim. At the same time, the present appellant had constructed a
    community hall which has been used for public purposes and also by
    the community for a sufficient long period and the Division Bench of
    the High Court was not justified in reopening and reverting back to
    square one leaving the authority to decide their respective claims at
    such belated stage and, therefore, impugned judgment deserves to be
    set aside.
  9. Learned counsel for the appellant in the connected appeal filed
    by Indore Development Authority, while supporting the submissions,
    further submits that apart from the fact that 2nd respondent had not
    submitted any application for allotment pursuant to an advertisement
    dated 7th September, 1989 required under Disposal Regulations, 1987,
    the authority was of the view that it will not be advisable to provide
    adjoining plots to one community and after revisiting the factual
    matrix of the matter considered it appropriate to cancel the decision
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    for allotment made in favour of the 2nd respondent and there being no
    error in the decision making process held by the authority, the
    Division Bench of the High Court committed manifest error in
    directing to revisit the whole process of allotment and that needs
    interference by this Court.
  10. Learned counsel further submits that so far as the allotment
    made in favour of 4th respondent(LIC) is concerned, it has nothing to
    do with the allotment made in reference to the trust which is
    impugned in the proceedings and calling upon the 4th respondent(LIC)
    to participate in the whole process was not justiciable.
  11. Heard learned counsel for the appellants and no one has put an
    appearance on behalf of the contesting respondent despite service and
    with their assistance perused the material available on record.
  12. Indisputedly, the 2nd respondent had not submitted any
    application for allotment of land pursuant to an advertisement inviting
    applications for allotment of land dated 7th September, 1989, despite
    being published in the local newspaper. At the same time, application
    of the appellant Trust was found to be in order complying with the
    necessary requirements as indicated in the advertisement and after
    due scrutiny of the applications, plot ad­measuring 50,000 sq. ft was
    allotted to the appellant in Scheme No. 75­C for community hall by
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    letter of allotment dated 2nd July, 1990.
  13. After noticing that the 2nd respondent had submitted application
    for allotment of land for community hall on 30th September, 1988
    directly to the Indore Development Authority and to the then Chief
    Minister of Madhya Pradesh dated 29th December, 1988 which was
    erroneously processed in the office of the authority and letter of
    allotment of land was issued ad­measuring 30,000 sq. ft. in Scheme
    No. 74­C dated 2nd July, 1990 and later noticing the fact that two
    separate allotments have been made in the same scheme to two
    separate trusts of the same community and that being an apparent
    error, the decision was taken by the authority vide its Resolution No.
    21 dated 11th February, 1991 to confirm the allotment of 50,000 sq. ft
    land in favour of the present appellant at the rate of Rs. 15/­ per sq. ft
    and application of the 2nd respondent seeking allotment of land was
    rejected.
  14. It was not the case of either party that the appellant Trust either
    failed to fulfil necessary conditions as referred to under the
    advertisement dated 7th September, 1989 pursuant to which the
    applications were invited or failed to fulfil necessary requisite
    conditions for allotment under any statutory enactment or Disposal
    Regulations, 1987 or there was any error being committed by the
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    authority in its decision making process while the allotment of land
    was made in favour of the appellant Trust. To the contrary, the
    emphasis of the 2nd respondent while approaching to the High Court in
    a writ petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India was
    that vide Resolution No. 21 dated 11th February, 1991, the authority
    has cancelled their allotment of land without affording opportunity of
    hearing and has failed to comply with the principles of natural justice
    and that appears to be the reason prevailed upon to the Division
    Bench of the High Court directing the Indore Development Authority to
    revisit the matter of allotment of land and take a decision in
    accordance with law.
  15. In the instant facts and circumstances, the facts remain
    indisputed that the 2nd respondent has not submitted any application
    for allotment of land pursuant to an advertisement dated 7th
    September, 1989. In the ordinary course of business, there was no
    justification for the authority to consider the application of the 2nd
    respondent which was not in due compliance and in terms of the
    advertisement in reference to which the applications were invited.
    That appears to be an apparent error which was committed and
    indeed such application was not open to scrutiny and for allotment of
    land as desired by 2nd respondent and taking note of the peculiar fact
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    situation, calling upon the 2nd respondent and affording an
    opportunity of hearing and for comparative assessment of claim, will
    remain an empty formality and no purpose was to be served.
  16. In addition to it, the 2nd respondent (writ petitioner) despite
    service, has chosen not to appear and participate in the proceedings
    before this Court, it appears that he is not interested to pursue and to
    put its claim for alleged allotment. That apart, the allotment made to
    the LIC, in any manner, have no nexus to the inter se dispute between
    the two trusts with regard to allotment of land and thus, there was no
    justification for the Division Bench at least to call upon respondent
    no. 4 LIC to be a part of the proceedings which the Indore
    Development Authority was to undertake in compliance of the
    impugned judgment in the instant proceedings.
  17. After going through the material on record, we are of the
    considered view that directing the Indore Development Authority to
    revisit the matter afresh at this stage when the lease deed of the plot
    has been executed and the appellant has raised construction and is
    running a community hall for the benefit of the public at large and at
    the same time, the 2nd respondent has shown complete disinterest in
    the proceedings, no purpose otherwise will be served if the parties are
    remitted to the authorities to examine their respective claims in
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    compliance of the impugned judgment of the Division Bench.
  18. Consequently, both the appeals succeed and are accordingly
    allowed. The impugned judgment of the Division Bench of the High
    Court dated 4th November, 2008 is hereby set aside. No costs.
  19. Pending application(s), if any, stand disposed of.
    ……..…………………………………J.
    (N.V. RAMANA)
    ……..…………………………………J.
    (MOHAN M. SHANTANAGOUDAR)
    ………………………………………..J.
    (AJAY RASTOGI)
    NEW DELHI
    OCTOBER 03, 2019