New Delhi: The Chhattisgarh High Court directed the state government that no further proceedings shall be pursued till the next date of hearing with regard to allotment of a government land to Congress in Dhamtari for building a party office at the district headquarters.
The division bench of the high court, comprising Chief Justice P.R. Ramachandra Menon and Justice Parth Prateem Sahu, has admitted this petition filed by Bhanu Chandrakar and observed:
“We are of the view that a prima facie case has been made out by the petitioner. But we do not intend to express any opinion on this aspect, as the matter can be considered only after filing a reply by the state and other respondents.”
The petition submitted that the land in question is being allotted to a particular political party through the district collector, Dhamtari and the chief municipal officer, Nagar Panchayat, Kurud, Dhamtari. The petitioner, Bhanu Chandrakar, through his counsel Sharad Mishra, has challenged the course and proceedings being taken by the respondents in connection with the alienation of the government land, allegedly without any regard to the relevant provisions of law.
The petitioner’s counsel submitted that the property was allotted to the respondent concerned and it clearly mentioned the purpose for which it was allotted. It is now sought to be allotted in the name of Pramod Sahu, the 6th respondent in the case, on a lease for a period of 30 years. The counsel submits that no prior sanction of the government land has been obtained and this is clearly in violation of provisions of the Municipalities 2 Act, 1961.
Besides, the petitioner’s counsel also pointed out that Pramod Sahu has already been allotted land for the setting-up of an office and the property involved carries substantial value and if at all it is to be allotted to the deserving persons/parties, the same has to be in conformity with the Rules.
Chandresh Shrivastava, Deputy Advocate General, appearing on behalf of the state, submitted that the present petition has been filed as a Public Interest Litigation, so far as the petitioner is having a private interest, being the leader of a political party, this PIL is not maintainable.
In this regard he further submitted that by virtue of Section 409 of the Municipalities Act, 1961 the power is vested with the Council of the Municipality, and accordingly, the power has been exercised. The counsel further pointed out that there is an effective alternative remedy under the statue, which has not been availed of by the petitioner and hence, the writ petition is not maintainable.
The Court has admitted the petition, and fixed September 29 as the next date of hearing and directed the respondents to file their replies.
Read the order here;WPPIL82_2001.09.20
– India Legal Bureau