PIL against public land grab to come up in HC next week
The Income Tax Department has been reportedly keeping a close watch over the alleged Rs 100 crore land deal between Shri Laxminarayan Co-Operative Society and Shishir Diote of Rachna Constructions, in which huge amount of black money is said to have been involved. The said deal was cracked for the prime land at Chinch Bhawan in which Rachna Constructions alleged to have paid whopping sum while keeping the actual deal figures under the wraps. Moreover, major part of the land comprised public utility space which was allegedly being converted for residential purpose in clear violation of provisions under MRTP act.
Sanjay Agrawal of People Against Corruption will be filing public interest litigation in Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court, seeking probe into alleged use of black money in sealing the deal and also illegal conversion of public utility space. “The actual amount involved in the deal stands at Rs 100 crore whereas it was shown as purchased for consideration of Rs 32 crores. The major part of this land was reserved for public utility and it cannot be diverted for commercial purpose as per provision under MRTP act. But the provision was cannily tweaked to favour the builder. The NMC has allegedly endorsed the request to cancel the land reservation for public utility and recommended it to Ministry of Urban Development,” Agrawal told Nagpur Today.
Agrawal said that only Chief Minister has the authority to take the final call in this matter.
Advocate Shrikant Khandalkar, counsel to Agrawal said that we have questioned the legality of the said deal in our petition. It would be filed next week. He alleged the builder got the consideration to transfer reserved land into commercial utility space approved by striking chord at higher levels. Even the involvement of higher ups in the NMC and those in urban ministry cannot be ruled out, he said.
As the allegations of black money use surfaced, the income tax department has reportedly keeping an eye on the deal and looking for finer nuances involved in the deal.
The land earlier belonged to Amritsar based Radha Swami Satsang Vyas, which was later sold to Shri Laxminarayan Co-Operative Society. The society has now transferred the said land to Shishir Diote of Rachna Constructions, an upscale real estate company in Nagpur. In the sanctioned map of the land obtained from NMC under Right to Information act, a large patch of land reserved for public utility shown in red has been converted into residential area by making changes under section 28, 29 of M.R. & T.P. act 1966 to the R.D.P. published under section 26, 29 and 30 of the act. The residential area that initially constitutes very small area (in yellow) in the concerned piece of land has been spread to the large chunk of reserved land. The NMC authorities had made deliberate attempt to favour the builder, he alleged.
Agrawal hinted at rampant corruption in the said land deal as the reservation for public utility space has also been cancelled to facilitate the builder. He termed it as a conspiracy to sell the land meant for public utility at the hands of land mafia. The prevailing price in the concerned area stands somewhere between Rs 4000 and Rs 5000 per square feet, Agrawal said.
He also alleged that few political leaders and bureaucrats have been involved in the deal for their personal interest. He demanded immediate cancellation of proposal sent by NMC and strict action against guilty officials.