Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, November 10
Ajoy Kumar Sinha, Chief Administrator-cum-Finance Secretary, has quashed an order of the Estate Office demanding a re-transfer fee of Rs 85 lakh from Baba Jatinder Singh, a resident of Sector 21, calculated on the basis of the current collector rate, and has directed the Estate Office to decide and take a decision within three months. The resident has got relief after a legal battle of over 27 years.
Despite orders in favour of the appellant by various courts, the Estate Office refused to transfer the property in this case for one reason or the other.
SK Jain and Vikas Jain, advocates for the appellant, said in this case, the Estate Office wrongly calculated the transfer fee on the basis of the current collector rates, ignoring the fact that the application for the transfer was first made in 1992. Vikas Jain said the re-transfer fee should be calculated on the basis of the collector rates prevailing at the time of the application submitted and not on the basis of the collector rates when the transfer letter is issued on the directions of the High Court.
On the other hand, advocate for the Estate Office claimed before the Chief Administrator that the Estate Office rightly calculated the re-transfer fee. He said the re-transfer charges should be calculated on the date from which the property was to be re-transferred. After hearing both parties, the Chief Administrator concluded that the Estate Office failed to show any concrete documents which cold either rebut the contentions of the counsel for the appellant or in support of his contention. The Chief Administrator said the appellant applied for the transfer of the property on the directions of the Supreme Court in 1992. Thereafter, the matter kept lingering on on one pretext or the other and the appleant’s request for re-transfer was rejected in 2003 after more than 11 years. Thereafter, the appellant again challenged the same up to the High Court and it was decided in his favour whereby the order of resumption and the order declining the request of the appellant for the re-transfer was set aside by the High Court. The Estate Office filed an SLP before the apex court against the order of the High Court, which was dismissed.
Thus, the order of the High Court attains finality. The Finance Department also advised the Estate Office to follow the order of the High Court. Despite this, the Estate Office is still reluctant to re-transfer the site in favour of the appellant without showing any cogent reason.
The counsel for the Estate Office also failed to show any document/evidence in support of the justifiability of the impugned order dated September 5, 2018, by which Rs 85 lakh re-tranfer fee was demanded. Consequently, the order was set aside and the case remanded back to the Estate Officer to consider the matter afresh and take a judicious decision by taking into consideration the contentions raised by the counsel for the appellant within three months. Vikas Jain said despite the orders of the Supreme Court, the Estate Office was harassing residents time and again and asking them to pay on the basis of the current collector rates in similar cases, which was wrong.
About the long legal battle
It was a long battle for differently abled Baba Jatinder, a resident of 3322, Sector 21-D, who fought for the transfer of the property from one court to another for over 27 years. The site was resumed on April 24, 1974, on account of misuse — running a guest house. The appellant submitted an application in 1992 for the re-transfer of the property and also submitted an undertaking that the misuse shall no be repeated, but the transfer was not done.
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