Allottees’ Legal Wrangles and Violations, ET RealEstate

January 4, 2024
2 mins read
changes in chandigarh housing board building rules a major headache for allottees


CHANDIGARH: Dated houses incompatible with the evolving needs of families are not the only reason for the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) allottees to be knotted into legal wrangles and building violations mess. In a number of cases, retrospective changes in the building rules have compounded the allottees’ woes.

The allottees have carried out construction in the CHB dwelling units as per need based changes policies notified from time to time since 2001 onwards and later on, new policy dated 03/01/2023 was notified withdrawing previously allowed many need-based changes and thus, declaring the construction as so-called violation.

The CHB need-based policies allowed for some types of constructions and designs in the houses. Following this, the allottees claim they constructed as per the changed guidelines. In later policy amendments, the changes were disallowed. But for the allottees, problems arise when the CHB functionaries demand demolition or threaten imposing penalties on constructions that were earlier allowed but later disallowed.

Hitesh Puri, chairman of Chandigarh Resident Association of Welfare Federation (Crawfed), said, “In no other instances, laws, policies or rules have retrospective effect. But in the case of CHB rules on constructions, a line is inserted in every new policy on building rules, ‘This supersedes all previous orders of need-based changes’, which has legal complications. CHB officials object to a construction which was once allowed but then disallowed. Their contention is that the said construction was once allowed but now. This creates major problems for the allottees.”

In recent meeting of Committee for recommendation of need-based changes in Chandigarh Housing Board dwelling under chairmanship of Secretary, CHB, one of the special invitees, Rajan Malhotra, president RWA Sector 45C, also highlighted the problem, “Any office order/policy for regularisation is implemented on prospective basis, it cannot be implemented on retrospective basis, but surprisingly it is mentioned in the latest policy that it supersedes all previously issued notifications of need based changes. Many of the reliefs given in earlier need-based changes policies have been withdrawn in the latest policy.” There have been instances, where the CHB changed its stance on provision multiple times. For instance, in an order dated May 18, 2001, there was provision allowed for constructing projection/ balcony in front of the MIG duplex flats in line with the projection already approved by CHB by providing pillars below. In the successive policies dated March 23, 2010, July 7m, 2015 and February 18, 2016, it continued to be allowed. But then in next policies dated February 2018 and January 2023 these were disallowed.

The Chandigarh Housing Board officials contend that it is difficult to assess whether a construction was made during the period when it was allowed or when it was disallowed. So, notices are issued to the allottees and if the allottee can prove it was constructed during the period when it was allowed then action is taken as per rules.

“In most cases even if the allottee had informed the Chandigarh Housing Board about a change as per allowed policy there has been seldom a response from the CHB on confirming it. In most cases, such letters are not forthcoming,” said an allottee who didn’t want to be named.

Hitesh Puri added, “We have suggested that CHB take an affidavit from the allottee giving an undertaking when the change was made. The burden of proof should be on the Chandigarh Housing Board. Why are the more than 65,000 allottees harassed because of this.”

  • Published On Jan 4, 2024 at 03:00 PM IST

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