Court asks DDA to explain reservation policy

February 2nd, 2009 - 10:00 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 2 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Monday asked the Delhi Development Authority why it invited applications from the Scheduled Castes people living outside the capital for the controversial DDA housing scheme while many living here did not have their own accomodation.A division bench of Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah and Justice Sanjeev Khanna asked the DDA why the authority had invited applications from outside the National Capital Territory (NCT) when many of the over one-billion people living in the capital do not have their own home.

The court asked the DDA to take instructions from authorities on the allotment of the flats.

It also expressed concern over the emerging irregularities in the allotment of 5,000-odd flats under the housing scheme.

It asked DDA to report the findings of its investigations - else it was inclined to stay the whole allotment process.

The DDA housing scheme last year reserved several flats for people from the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.

The legality of this reservation policy has been challenged by Prem Chand, a resident of Dilshad Garden, who has sought the high court’s intervention and an interim stay on the allotment of houses under the reserved category of the Scheduled Castes.

In a petition, he said the government agency had surpassed its jurisdiction by inviting applications from Scheduled Caste applicants outside the NCT, without a thought for members of the oppressed castes living in Delhi.

Prem Chand, who applied for a flat under the reserved category, termed the allotment under that category as discriminatory and devoid of any rational relation to the needs and aspirations of the people living in or domiciled in Delhi.

Under the DDA housing scheme of 2008, 5,238 flats were allotted to applicants chosen from among more than 500,000 of them. The draw of lots was held Dec 16, but soon there were allegations that it was rigged.

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