Nagpur: In an unprecedented act, Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) has calculated and demanded an amount of Rs 163,75,63,688 (One hundred and sixty three crores, seventy five lakhs, sixty three thousand and six hundred and eighty eight only) as “revised premium” and “ground rent” along with interest from original allottee Maharashtra Rashtrabhasha Sabha and its tenants namely SMG Hospitals Pvt. Ltd and operator M/s Wockhardt Hospitals Pvt Ltd. as per the directions issued by the Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court comprising Justice B P Dharmadhikari and Justice Indira Jain in PIL No.47/2013 filed by Citizens Forum for Equality through its President Madhukar Kukde.
It may be recalled that the High Court while deciding the various issues in PIL No. 47/2013 has allowed the petition partly and issued various directions in larger public interest. The High Court had quashed the NIT resolution dated 11-08-2005 by which premium of mere Rs 30 lakh was fixed for allotment of land to the Rashtrabhasha Sabha and directed NIT to make fresh calculations as per rule 8 (2) of Land Disposal Rules 1983 (as per prevalent rate).
It also directed the Rashtrabhasha Sabha and others to pay the new lease premium within next two months of the calculation of premium.
Accordingly, a committee of three persons was formed, consisting of District Collector Sachin Kurve, Joint Director Town Planning Adari and NIT Chairman Dr. Deepak Mhaisekar. The said committee has, after considering all the submissions and arguments of the parties, calculated the revised premium for the land in dispute U/s 8 (2) of Land Disposal Rules 1983 as follows:-
- The revised premium of value of land in 2005 – (Rs 31,83,17,300, Advance paid Rs 30,000,00) = Rs 31,53,12,225.
- Interest @ 12% for a period of 2005 to 2017 = Rs 106,03,95,012.
(Therefore amount of revised premium and interest up to 2017 is Rs 137,57,07,237).
- Revised Ground Rent for period 1991-2004 along with 12% interest — Rs 06,29,68,427.
- Revised Ground Rent for a period of 2005-2017 along with 12% interest – Rs 19,88,88,024.
Total: Rs 163,75,63,688=00
It is reported that the allottee is required to pay the amount of Rs 31,53,12,225 as current premium and Rs 63,66,346 as current lease rent within two months of this order and rest of the amount is required to be paid in 12 months in equal installments as directed by the High Court.
It is necessary to point out that the PIL was filed against the illegal constructions made by the allottees, illegal change of user, illegal allotment of land, illegal calculation of premium by NIT against the allotment of one acre prime land situated at Shankar Nagar. It was argued that the land in question has changed various hands and land having market cost of Rs.100 crore was allotted by NIT only at Rs.30 lakh. It is pointed out that the land given for Hindi promotion was illegal sold out to SMG Hospitals Pvt. Ltd for a sum of Rs 6.5 crore. Then the SMG Hospitals Pvt Ltd (firm owned by Sagar Meghe) has signed Management Agreement with M/s Wockhardt Hospitals Pvt. Ltd on 33% revenue sharing basis so as to illegally make huge financial gains.
The petitioners argued that the land was misused for commercial purpose and was exploited commercially causing huge revenue loss to the State Exchequer (around Rs 100 crore) and parties have received huge monetary profits in brazen violations of MRTP ACT, NIT Act, Land Disposal Rules 1983 etc.
The Maharashtra Rashtrabhasha Sabha had also filed the SLP in Supreme Court against the judgment of High Court but failed to get any interim relief. The Supreme Court had also directed the authorities to continue with the process of determination of fresh premium as directed by High Court in its judgment dated 03-01-2017.
The new calculation and revised premium reflects that huge revenue loss was caused to the state exchequer by the beneficiary parties.
It may be recalled that High Court has also directed the enquiry in to the entire episode and also directed that the persons found guilty be prosecuted in criminal proceedings.
Adv. Tushar Mandlekar appeared on behalf of petitioners and Adv. Devendra Chauhan and Adv. Ankush Kalmegh argued for M/s Wockhardt Hospitals Pvt. Ltd and M/s Rashtrabhasha Sabha respectively.