Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, May 4
It has taken more than 15 years for a property buyer to get the vacant possession of a house purchased by him in 2004. The Punjab and Haryana High Court has not only imposed Rs 30,000 costs on the landlady, but also issued notice to her in view of her “conduct”.
She has been asked to explain why she should not be proceeded against for deliberate violation of undertaking given on different occasions before the court even on an affidavit while “obviously trying to overreach of the entire judicial process”.
The costs and the notice, marking the end of 15-year litigation over the sale of a Sector 38 house, came as the landlady failed to hand over vacant possession of the suit property to the respondent despite undertakings.
Counsel for the respondent-buyer in the case, RS Bajaj, during the course of hearing told the court that an agreement to sell was entered into between the petitioner-landlady and Ashok Kumar Aggarwal in October, 2004; and some amount was paid. But that was just the beginning of a long-drawn legal battle.
The matter reached the Lok Adalat, as the sale-purchase process did not materialise. In July, 2014, Aggarwal initiated execution proceedings. The executing court, in July, 2017, directed Aggarwal to deposit balance consideration of Rs 34 lakh in terms of the agreement of sale.
Bajaj added the balance amount deposited by the buyers was withdrawn by the petitioner. A local commissioner was later appointed to get the sale deed registered in name of respondent-buyers. “Consequently, the sale deed also having been executed through the process of court, upon the remaining sale consideration having been paid, the petitioner was required to hand over vacant possession of the house by January 10, 2018, she having been given that much time for her to arrange alternative accommodation,” Justice Amol Rattan Singh observed.
But still she did not vacate the house, following which another execution application was filed in February, 2018. The executing court ordered issuance of warrants of possession. Police help was ordered as the bailiff reported that the petitioner and her son refused to give possession and had heated argument with the respondents.
Challenging the order, the petitioner claimed she was old and living alone, with her son not fulfilling his responsibilities. As such, she was forced to disown him; and the house was the only one she owned.
The court permitted her to stay in the house for seven months upon paying Rs 2 lakh in damages. But even after that, vacant possession was not handed over. Dismissing the petition, the Bench said: “If the house in question is not immediately vacated by the petitioner, the respondents would also be within their right to institute proceedings for damages in accordance with law.”
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