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Supreme Court takes away illegally acquired Haryana land from private builders, directs CBI for investigation

March 13, 2018


On Monday, the Supreme Court revived the acquisition of 688 acres of land in Gurgaon made by the Hooda government. It must be noted that in around 2004, the state industries department issued a Notification regarding the government’s decision to acquire land in Manesar, Lakhounla and Naurangpur in Gurgaon district to set up Chaudhari Devi Lal Industrial Township. Using this ‘smoke screen’, builders coerced landowners to sell 400 acres at a throwaway price of Rs. 100 crore against a market price of Rs. 1,600 crore. Three years down the line, when the land was taken over by the builders, the Hooda government dropped acquisition proceedings so as to allow realtors to become owners of large tracts of land for execution of profitable housing.

The Supreme Court has observed the whole process as a malafide exercise of power by the government. The Apex court has also asked CBI to do the investigation in the said matter. The CBI has already framed charges against Hooda. In its report, CBI had stated that “some politicians who were also important functionaries of the state government, government officers, and their agents caused a wrongful loss of Rs. 1,500 crore to landowners of Manesar, Naurangpur and Lakhounla and corresponding gains to themselves”.

The bench comprising of Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and Uday Umesh Lalit stated that the CBI would eventually unravel the truth. The court further observed that such hefty sums which were made over to “middlemen” cannot belong to them and the money rightfully belongs to the state government. After directions given to the CBI to carry out the investigation, the court stated that the “public interest” has been murdered and the land transferred to builders along with the licenses would now vest with HSIDC and HUDA. The court also stated that the builders will get an interest-free refund from the government at the rate at which they had purchased the land from the farmers, and the amount they had invested to develop the land. Further, the landowners who lost their land would be entitled to initiate proceedings for enhanced compensation that is over and above the price for which they had sold their land to builders. If the trial court allows additional compensation to them, the same would be paid by the state government.

Going further, the court said that if the builder has completed construction on the land so acquired by them, the plots or apartments shall be made over to the respective claimants after due verification and the remaining area or apartments would be completely at the disposal of HUDA or HSIDC.

 

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