Haryana Urban Development Authority & Anr. Vs. Jagdeep Singh
Date of Order:
May 8, 2023
Rajesh Bindal, J, Abhay S. Oka
Appellants - Haryana Urban Development Authority & Anr
Respondents - Jagdeep Singh
Frivolous litigation is a type of legal action filed without merit. It is usually brought by individuals or groups who attempt to use the court system to achieve their own personal or political goals, rather than seek justice. Frivolous litigation is often seen as a form of harassment, as it is often used to intimidate and cost the defendant money that could be better spent elsewhere.
- The Respondent (Mr. Jagdeep Singh) was allotted plot no.1084 in Sector 14 (Part), Hisar.
- Before the allotment of the land, it belonged to the Animal Husbandry Department of the State of Haryana, which was transferred to the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA Authority). The appellants issued a notice to the respondent demanding an additional price. The appellants also wanted to show cause why the plot should not be resumed due to non-construction within two years of allotment.
- The respondent filed a suit challenging the demands. The trial court held that the demand for an additional price can only be raised when the competent authority enhances the cost of land under the Land Acquisition Act.
- After the suit was decreed, the appellant filed an appeal, which was rejected by both the appellate court and the high court.
- The appellants approached the Supreme Court of India challenging the Punjab and Haryana High Court order.
- Is the present appeal made by the appellants challenging the order dated 28.10.2009 passed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court maintainable?
ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE APPELLANT
- The counsel representing the appellants argued that the land rate was revised to ₹3,00,000/- per acre from ₹1,21,000/- per acre.
- The price of the plot was calculated at ₹301.70 sq. yard, and the additional demand was raised from the Respondent @₹76.80 per sq. Yd.
- The counsel contended that the appellants would bear the increase in the cost of development charges as they’re a non-profit organization. The notice also stated that if the respondents were not ready to pay the additional amount and take the land, they would receive their deposit amount back.
ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE RESPONDENT
- Counsel representing the respondent contended that the price of the plot was tentative, as mentioned in the letter of allotment.
- It was submitted that the land in this case was transferred and not acquired; hence the parties can determine the price of the land at the time of transfer. A price increase, however, cannot be imposed on allottees.
- The supreme court of India dismissed the appeal.
- The bench consisting of Justice Ajesh Bindal and Justice Abhay S. Oka held that clause 9 of the letter of allotment clearly states that additional prices can only be demanded if there’s an enhancement in the cost of the land. Nevertheless, the land in question was never acquired and therefore there cannot be an increase in the cost of land.
- The court ruled that the lower courts were right in their decision as there was no merit in the present appeal.
- The court also imposed a heavy cost upon the appellants for filing a frivolous appeal and burdening the court. The appellants were directed to deposit ₹1,00,000/- with the Supreme Court Mediation Centre.
- The case of Dynandeo Sabaji Naik & Ors. Vs. Pradnya Prakash Khadekar & Ors [SLP (C) Nos. 25331-33 of 2015] was cited by the court, where it was held that frivolous appeal filings hinder justice administration as they consume time and infrastructure. Resources should be utilized in handling genuine cases and not in prolonging dead issues
- Reliance was placed on the case, Sanjay Gera vs. Haryana Urban Development Authority & Anr [Appeal (civil) 4611 of 1999] with similar facts to the present case. The high court, in this case, quashed the demand for an additional price from the allottee. It did so by interpreting the same condition in the allotment letter as in the case at hand.
- The respondent was awarded the cost of ₹ 50,000/-for dragging him into this unnecessary litigation.
Frivolous litigation is a serious problem, as it wastes valuable judicial resources and delays the resolution of legitimate cases. It can also result in the defendant being saddled with legal costs and damages due to the frivolous lawsuit. In the present case, the court was right in its decision to reprimand the appellants for filing a frivolous appeal concerning questions that have already been decided and settled in the lower courts.
Click here to download the original copy of the judgement