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Haryana

Rohtak land release: Justice Madan submits report, officers’ commission to go through it

March 14, 2019 07:13 AM

COURTESY HINDUSTAN TIMES MARH 14

Hitender Rao hrao@hindustantimes.com ■
Rohtak land release: Justice Madan submits report, officers’ commission to go through it
THE STATE GOVERNMENT WILL HAVE TO APPRISE THE SUPREME COURT ABOUT THE ACTION TAKEN ON THE INQUIRY REPORT BY THE FIRST WEEK OF APRIL.

CHANDIGARH: Former Punjab and Haryana High Court judge, Justice RS Madan (retd) who was asked to probe the actions leading to the release of about 400 acres in Rohtak and grant of colonisation license on 280 acres to a private builder, Uddar Gagan, during the rule of the previous Congress regime has submitted an 800-page report to the state government.

“The state government has constituted a committee of town and country planning officials headed by a senior town planner to go through the voluminous report and sum up the findings,’’ said a town and country planning official.

The state government will have to apprise the Supreme Court about the action taken on the inquiry report by the first week of April.

Upholding the land acquisition process, the Supreme Court had in May 2016 ordered that all land-release orders in favour of the builder be quashed.

The apex court had also asked the state government to inquire into the legality and bona fides of the action of the persons responsible for illegally entertaining the applications of the builder and releasing the land, when it had no title to the land on the date of the notification under Section 4 and proceed against them in accordance with law.

CM’S SOMERSAULT

Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar had made a volte face on the matter by ordering an inquiry by a retired judge instead of a CBI probe. He had announced this on the floor of the state assembly. The somersault was significant since the matter has already been inquired by retired IAS officer Rajan Gupta who had pointed to a systemic failure in the entire episode and did not fix anyone’s responsibility.

Khattar had on March 13, 2018 told the assembly that the state government had decided to refer two cases of land acquisition irregularities — Rohtak’s Uddar Gagan case adjudicated by the Supreme Court in May 2016 and Sonepat land release case — to the CBI for investigation. Three weeks later, the state government, backed down by ordering an inquiry by a retired judge.

THE UDDAR GAGAN CASE About 850 acres of land was proposed to be acquired in 2002 for residential and commercial sectors in Rohtak by Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA). However, the award was passed for about 422 acres in April 2005.

A realtor, Uddar Gagan Properties Limited, in March 2005 entered into collaboration agreements with some farmers whose land was under acquisition for development of a colony.

The developer had applied for a licence to develop a colony on land covering about 280 acres. The licences were granted by the town and country planning director in June 2006 and corresponding land was released from acquisition.

The licences were addressed to the owners but remitted to the builder.

This was followed by execution of sale deeds in favour of the builder through power-of-attorney holder of the land owners.

Upholding the land acquisition process, an SC bench of Justice Anil R Dave and Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel in its May 13, 2006 judgment ordered that the land will vest in Huda free from all encumbrances.

The SC ordered that all landrelease orders in favour of the builder in respect of the land covered were quashed. Consequently, all licences granted in respect of the land covered by acquisition will stand transferred to HUDA, it held

 
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