Delhi Development Authority (DDA) seems to have perpetually entered the bad books of the Delhi High Court, owing to the array of frivolous appeals and objections filed by it in several matters.
Justice Valmiki J. Mehta, on Monday, cited various cases “where the officers of the DDA are taking rank illegal actions” and directed the Vice Chairman of the DDA to “streamline the legal decisions which are taken, in terms of a policy to be framed, as to whether or not a court case should or should not be filed/contested”.
The Court was hearing an Appeal filed by the DDA against orders passed by a lower Court in Execution Proceedings initiated by the decree holders in a suit for allotment of a ‘New Subzi Mandi shop’. During the proceedings, the Court noted that the decree had become final and its finality cannot be questioned by the DDA in the execution proceedings.
Frowning upon the frivolous objections being raised by the DDA, Justice Mehta then observed,
“The initials of Delhi Development Authority are DDA. DDA also is referred to as Don’t Do Anything. Appellant/DDA has in the facts of the present case crossed all sensibilities and civilities required for the common citizens of this country…
… Appellant however is no wiser and insists on pursuing its illegal stands to the detriment of the common citizen of this country as if the Don’t Do Anything/DDA has really nothing else to do but harass the common man. I would also in fact further add that possibly there is something more playing in the minds of certain officers of the DDA and which intentions are not benign but only are for malafidely denying benefit of the litigation to the decree holder, and which litigation started in the year 1979 and today we are in the year 2017 i.e. around 39 years later.”
It, therefore, dismissed the appeal with costs of Rs. 1, 00,000 payable to the decree holders. The amount has been directed to be recovered “equally and proportionately from each of its officers/employees who have ordered and directed that objections and the appeals be filed”.
The Court went on to direct the DDA Vice Chairman to set up a two member enquiry committee, comprising its senior most officers, within a period of two weeks. This committee has been directed to fix responsibility and take strict departmental actions against the officers responsible for filing of the appeals and the objections in the case at hand.
“If so required, and if it is found by the enquiry committee that in fact besides wholly unjustified filing of objections in the execution proceedings and the appeals, the concerned officers/employees are possibly guilty of any offence under any laws of this country, then, the enquiry committee can also make necessary recommendations,” it further ordered, directing the committee to submit a report to the Vice Chairman within three months.
Listing the matter on 21 December for compliance of directions, Justice Mehta took another jibe at DDA, observing, “This Court is constrained to pass directions which have been issued in the present judgment because it is quite clear that certain officers of the appellant/DDA do not understand the difference between rule of law and rule of autocrat coalescing into the rule of jungle.”