A Supreme Court Bench of Justice MR Shah and Justice BV Nagarathna set aside an order passed by the Allahabad High Court upholding the cancellation of property allotment due to delayed payment of instalments.

Quashing the order, the Supreme Court noted that "it is required to be noted and it is not in dispute that at the time of allotment, the appellant made the upfront payment of Rs.94,500/­ and thereafter made payment towards the first three instalments. However, thereafter because of the ill-health of her husband she was in financial difficulty and therefore she could not make the payment of the remaining four instalments which she made on 16.06.2006 with interest. The aforesaid payments show her bonafides and that there was no deliberate, wilful delay in the part of the appellant in not making the payment of instalments in time."

Senior Advocate Mr Kavin Gulati appeared on behalf of the Appellant. Senior Advocate Mr VK Shukla and Senior Advocate Mr Dinesh Kumar Garg appeared on behalf of the Respondent side.

The Appellant was allotted a residential property in Organized Development Scheme by the Responders under the category of Middle-Income Group. After the Appellant was successful in the draw of lots, she was allotted the plot. She made an upfront payment and then made the first three instalments on time. However, she defaulted in the payment of instalments Nos. 4 to 7, claiming to be in financial crisis due to the continuous ill-health of her husband.

The Appellant was then informed that due to the non-deposit of the instalments, the balance amount of the allotment was cancelled. However, the Appellant claimed that even before the notice was served to her, she managed to secure the money and deposited it along with interest, thereby clearing all the instalments.

The Appellant filed a Petition before the High Court, which was dismissed solely on the ground that the Appellant did not fulfil the terms and conditions as provided under the Scheme and did not deposit the instalments regularly and as and when due and payable.

The Court held that on payment of a further sum to be deposited in favour of the Respondent within 6 weeks, the Appeal could be allowed and the order passed by the High Court would be set aside.

The Court also opined that the aforesaid payments reflect that there was no deliberate, wilful delay on the part of the Appellant in not making the payment of instalments in time. To that end, the Court said "now when the appellant is ready and willing to pay a further sum of Rupees two lakhs towards compensation for the delay in making the payment of instalments, we are of the opinion that the offer made by the appellant is a fair offer and by which, allotment of plot in favour of a lady which is made under the Middle­Income Group Scheme and the plot being still vacant and not allotted to any other person, the order of cancellation may be set aside".

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