press trust of india
NAGPUR, 12 JUNE: Bombay High Court today issued notices to the Maharashtra government and some organisations for alleged illegal allotment of land here for monetary consideration, causing loss of Rs 100 crore to the state exchequer.
A High Court Bench in Nagpur, comprising Mr Justice BP Dharmadhikari and Mr Justice Sunil Shukre, issued notices to the State Government through its Chief Secretary, Mumbai. Other respondents include Secretary, Urban Development Department, Nagpur Municipal Commissioner, Chairman of Nagpur Improvement Trust, Maharashtra Rashtrabhasha Sabha of Pune, Nagpur-based Prajakta Developers, S M G Hospitals Pvt Ltd, Wockhardt Hospitals Pvt Ltd, Mumbai.
Citizens Forum for Equality, an NGO, had filed the PIL challenging the “illegal” action of Government officers and private companies in allotment of a government-owned land.
Petitioner Madhukar Kukde alleged that a loss of Rs 100 crore was caused to the state exchequer due to illegal allotment of the government land by Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) to Maharashtra Rashtrabhasha Sabha (MRS) of Pune which strives for promotion of Hindi Language.
The petitioner has demanded the action against the state government officers involved in illegal activities.Advocate Tushar Mandlekar, appearing for the petitioner prayed for a CBI inquiry as some politicians were allegedly involved. Advocate Ambarish Joshi accepted the notices on behalf of the State Government. The notice is returnable after three weeks. It was alleged that NIT had bypassed the mandatory provision of the rule 5,6,7 of Land Disposal Rules 1986 to auction the said land.
According to the petitioner, the land was illegally given only at a premium of Rs 30 lakh to MRS of Pune for 30 years by the local authority NIT Nagpur in 2007 without putting it into the process of auction. The petitioner further alleged that the said piece of land was illegally alienated and the interest was transferred to several parties through various agreements to which Nagpur Improvement Trust was not at all a party.
The PIL alleged that MRS illegally signed Development Agreement with Prajakta Developers which, in turn, sold the land to S M G Hospitals Pvt Ltd, a company owned by Datta Meghe, MP fom Wardha, near here, for a consideration of Rs 6.5 crore.
Praying for fresh auction of the land, the petitioner contended that the NIT had acted against the state exchequer and calculated the premium of Rs 30 lakh u/s 7 (3) of Land Disposal Rules at the market price of 1961 and therefore the state has been put to a huge revenue loss.
The petitioner contended that the land, situated on North Ambazari Road in Nagpur, was illegally converted into a commercial land by making “minor modification” of the land u/s 37 (2) of MRTP Act 1966, violating the statutory provisions.
The land, which was originally reserved for public institutional use, was illegally converted into ‘commercial land’ by the State Government, which the petitioner said, is a violation of Section 22, 29, 31, 50 of MRTP Act 1966. The petitioner contended that currently, the government land is being used for the commercial activities without the valid “occupancy certificate” and “building completion certificate” violating Sections 280, 282, 286 of Nagpur Municipal Corporation Act.
The petitioner alleged that state officers have acted illegally resulting in procedural impropriety and the official powers were misused by officers or decisions under executive powers were presumably taken with full knowledge that these actions were ultravires and illegal.