Impugned letter quashed; Delhi Development Authority DDA cannot reject a bid or annul tender process at any stage arbitrarily: Delhi High Court
The Delhi High Court recently stated that the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) cannot arbitrarily reject any bid or terminate the tender process and that the authority’s decision to withdraw a plot of land from the auction at any point must comply with Article 14 of the Constitution. This was seen in the case of YORK TECH PVT. LTD vs. DELHI DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (W.P. 10124/2022) and the case was presided over by HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE SACHIN DATTA.
FACTS OF THE CASE
The Delhi Development Authority came out with the 14th phase of e-auction for the sale of Industrial plots. The Petitioner filed an online application for participating in the e-auction concerning the said plot and was informed that he emerged as the highest bidder and is allowed to carry on the further procedures. The DDA denied giving the demand letter saying that it is not a part of the procedure.
The Petitioner also claims that the area of the said plot was announced to be as 400 sq. m. though it measures approximately 330 sq. m. i.e., less than 10 sq. m. short of the variation limits limit of 15%, as mentioned in the Tender Document, nonetheless the petitioner expressed its willingness to accept the allotment of the said plot.
According to the court, DDA’s decision must be guided by facts and cannot be tainted by the vice of arbitrariness or unrelated or secondary factors.
The court continued by stating that the DDA’s decision to withdraw the plot from the auction was unjustified and tainted with arbitrariness given that the e-auction of plots was conducted on “as is, where is basis,” that the highest bidder’s offer exceeded the reserve price, and that the highest bidder was willing to pay the full amount due despite the deficit in the area.
“Once the petitioner pays the said amount, the respondent/DDA may thereafter proceed to hand over the vacant physical possession to the petitioner and to execute the conveyance deed as contemplated in the tender conditions, subject to compliance with all applicable formalities in this regard,” the Court ordered.
As a result, the Court nullified the DDA’s order and ordered it to send the petitioner a demand cum allotment order and instruct them to pay the remaining 75% of the amount/premium of the bid submitted within 90 days.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY ABHINAV SHUKLA.