Misuse charges against SCF owner: Chandigarh estate office concedes mistake, ₹18 lakh penalty waived
A property owner’s two-decade struggle to get unwarranted ₹18 lakh misuse charges waived has come to an end, with the UT Estate Office finally conceding its mistake.
In 2002, the Estate Office had resumed a shop-cum-flat (SCF) in Sector 18, owing to misuse at the site.
Thereon, the owner filed a revision petition before the UT adviser, following which the adviser, on June 19, 2002, restored the site to the owner, subject to the payment of 10% penalty. The petitioner was also directed to apply for change in trade within 30 days.
However, even after the owner complied with the order, the assistant estate officer (AEO) on October 27, 2003, while initiating fresh proceedings of misuse, issued a fresh show-cause notice to the owner.
Vide an order dated March 5, 2014, the AEO also demanded misuse charges amounting to ₹18 lakh.
Appeals were filed in the court of Dr Vijay Namdeorao Zade, UT chief administrator, by the SCF owner and his son, the co-owner, as they had already complied with the order passed by the adviser.
In the appeals, advocate Vikas Jain, counsel for the appellants, submitted that in the order, the adviser had specifically mentioned that as per the amendment in the Building Rules, the change of trade had been allowed by the Chandigarh administration and as such the petitioner was free to apply for change in trade.
The Estate Office agreed with the contentions of the counsel that the owner had duly complied with the adviser’s order and admitted the applicability of the amendment notification in the present case.
Thereafter, the UT chief administrator set aside the orders of the AEO waived the ₹18 lakh penalty imposed on account of misuse.