Published On : Thu, Sep 8th, 2016

Court orders inquiry into land allotment to Rashtrabhasha Sankul

NIT, Sabha to pay Rs. 10,000 each to petitioner
If found guilty of causing wrongful loss to public revenue, prosecute former or present officers, elected or nominated representatives
NIT directed to recover additional ground rent and premium for allowing extra FSI
HC specifies strict time-frame for all actions
Respondents to move Apex Court

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Nagpur: With Nagpur bench of Bombay High court on Wednesday ordering an inquiry into the allotment of plot of land to Rashtrabhasha complex at Shankar Nagar, there is furor in cultural and commercial sector in the city.

The High Court while allowing a PIL filed by President of Citizens Forum for Equality Madhukar Kukde alleging gross abuse of procedure, illegal allotment of land and its brazen commercial misuse leading to massive revenue loss of Rs 100 crore, directed State Government and NIT to conduct an enquiry as to how commercial buildings were permitted without change of user.

A division bench consisting of Justice B P Dharmadhikari and Justice Indira Jain allowed the petition with cost and gave a rude shock to the Maharashtra Rashtrabhasha Sabha, State Urban Development Department and Nagpur Improvement Trust.

Following judicial trend followed in Adarsh Society case, the High Court has put the ball in State Government’s court to prosecute present or ex-officers or elected or nominated representatives, who were responsible for securing unwarranted gain or undue advantage without any delay. Pay additional ground rent in 3 months

The High Court came down heavily upon the NIT for determining ground rent as per 1961 rate and quashed the order dated August 11, 2005 while directing it to determine fresh ground rent for the lease period from 31-02-1991 to 31-03-2021 and additional premium to be recovered from Sabha for additional FSI as per Rule 8(2) of the Land Disposal Rules with effect from 21-02-2004 till 31-03-2021 within three months. The Sabha has been directed to pay current premium and ground rent within two months of its computation and arrears are to be recovered in 12 equal bimonthly installments. According to a conservative estimate this amount itself will be in the range of Rs 15-18 crore. About the alleged unauthorized construction by Rashtrabhasha Sabha and demolition notice issued by NMC, the High Court has directed the Civil Court to decide the civil suit within one year. The NMC, NIT and UDD have been directed to study the documents and

examine whether any right over undivided share was conferred upon any of the occupants including Wockhardt Hospital.

Maharashtra Rashtrabhasha Sabha was given a 1.2 acre plot of land at Shankarnagar by the NIT in 1991 on lease. The Rashtrabhasha Sabha entered into an agreement with Prajakta developers and accordingly, two buildings were built, one building has the Rashtrabhasha Sabha office and halls while the second building is commercial . the second building house wockhardt hospital. All this is illegal, says the petitioner. NIT, Sabha to pay Rs. 10,000 each to petitioner