The Delhi High Court on Friday asked the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to “come out of the cobwebs” and stop functioning in a despotic manner.
The stinging attack on the civic authority came in a case where a widow Kamlesh had been waiting for the possession of a kiosk in south Delhi Kalkaji Extension for last 24 years. Before she approached the court, Kamlesh was made to run from pillar to post to secure the kiosk allotted to her husband Sat Pal before his death.
Said Justice S N Aggarwal, “The DDA is a state functionary and it must come out of the cobwebs and should stop functioning in a despotic manner.”
Though the judge’s comments pertain to this case, many civil suits of similar nature are pending against the DDA in the court where applicants have been made to wait decades for their flats or shops.
The DDA issued the possession letter to Kamlesh in July 2006 but she was shocked to find that Rs 6.3 lakh was being demanded from her against Rs 1.62 lakh which was the cost of the kiosk in 1986.
She argued in the court that it was unfair and could not be made to pay for the delay caused by the DDA.
Endorsing it, Justice Aggarwal said since DDA has admitted delay in handing over the kiosk was its own fault, “demand of interest is most arbitrary, unreasonable and unjustified. There cannot be any policy of the state instrumentality to charge interest from the consumer for its own fault.”
The court asked the DDA to hand over the kiosk to Kamlesh within six weeks at the 1986 price and made it clear that no interests should be charged from her.