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Posted at: Nov 11, 2019, 7:25 AM; last updated: Nov 11, 2019, 7:25 AM (IST)

Resident gets justice after 27-yr legal battle

Order imposing Rs 85-lakh fee for re-transfer of house quashed
Resident gets justice after 27-yr legal battle
Jatinder Singh outside his house at Sector 21, Chandigarh, on Sunday. TRIBUNE PHOTO: RAVI KUMAR

Ramkrishan Upadhyay

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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