Concessional allotment of land to Freedom Fighters

Allotment of Built-up Houses/flats on Leasehold-Hire Purchase Basis to the Freedom Fighters under the Freedom Fighters Scheme, 1988.

Family of Freedom Fighter

A freedom fighter is eligible to apply for the allotment of accommodation only when he fulfils four conditions. Allotment can be claimed under the Scheme by the freedom fighter and that too only if he or any member of his family does not own any residential property in the Country.

The purpose of the Scheme is calculated to provide shelter to those who had made sacrifices for the freedom of the country. The Scheme is not intended to give any concession or reward to the family members. It is not intended to provide any benefit to the persons who are already well placed.
On a perusal of Clause 3 it is clear that a freedom fighters is eligible to apply for the allotment of accommodation only when he fulfills the four conditions as given in sub-clauses (i) to (iv). One of these conditions is that he or she “should not already own any residential property in his name or in the name of his family members anywhere in India.” A perusal of these provisions clearly shows that the allotment can be claimed under the Scheme by the freedom fighter and that too only if he or any member of his family does not own any residential property in the Country. Does the petitioner fulfill these conditions?

The petitioner is admittedly, not a freedom fighter. Her son, who is admittedly a member of her family, owns a house in Chandigarh. Thus, the essential pre-condition, as stipulated in the Scheme, is not fulfilled by the Petitioner.

Apparently, the purpose of the Scheme is to help the freedom, fighters. It is calculated to provide shelter to those who had made sacrifices for the freedom of the Country. The Scheme is not intended to give any concession or reward to the family members of a freedom fighters who is no more. We are also of the view that the definition of ‘Family’ in clause 1(c) indicates ‘inclusion’ of minor and dependent children. It does not exclude the other children who have attained majority. Furthermore, in the context, we are of the view that the definition has to be read down to conform to the basic purpose of the Scheme. In this view of the matter, the petitioner’s claim that she is eligible under the Scheme cannot be sustained. Even otherwise, the purpose of the Scheme is clearly to help the needy. Only those who do not have any shelter. In our view, it is not intended to provide any benefit to the persons who are already well placed. Admittedly, the petitioner’s family members are doing well. She herself is well provided for. They have a roof over their head. We are satisfied that the petitioner is not needy. She only appears to be greedy.

Having considered the provisions of the Scheme, we find that the intention was to allot accommodation to the freedom fighters only. The words of the notice cannot be given a meaning wider than that embodied in the Scheme itself. It appears that the notice was not meticulously drawn up so as to conform to the conditions of eligibility as envisaged in the Scheme itself. The addition of the word “widows” was wholly unwarranted and beyond the scope of the Scheme.

Ranjit Kaur vs. Chandigarh Administration, 2001(1) LAC 59 (P&H): AIR 2001 (P&H) 105.

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