HC for probe into land acquisition for IAS-PCS officers’ society road - ECAS Punjab

HC for probe into land acquisition for IAS-PCS officers’ society road

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Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1

Just about two months after the state government was asked to explain why the acquisition of land for a road to Punjab IAS-PCS Officers' Cooperative Housing Building Society Limited was being carried out at public expense, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the state through its Chief Secretary to consider ordering a probe into the acquisition.

Taking up the matter, the Bench of Justice Jaswant Singh and Justice Arun Kumar Tyagi also asked the state to consider getting the matter inquired through its independent agency to unveil the real motive and purpose of the acquisition.

The directions came on an application alleging that the second approach road to the residential society at state expense was mala fide exercise of power by influential officials of the state government. The Bench was hearing arguments on landowner Gurmeet Singh's plea for restraining the respondents from laying down the road through his land in Mullanpur Garibdass for alleged public purpose of constructing another approach road. His counsel contended that a 22-foot-wide approach road to the residential society was already in existence.

The Bench observed the society was getting connected to a 30-metre master plan road. The additional entry point at an electric substation was only to give exclusive and direct approach to society land, "adding to the advantage and value of their land with direct access to the major Chandigarh-Kurali road".

The Bench asserted the sequence of events and the statements of facts notified and declared in public documents adequately demonstrated and raised a founded suspicion that action of the department concerned, in garb of public purpose, was an exercise with oblique motive to favour and benefit the society.

It was first attempted on the society's expense and then at public expense. The additional entry point at electric substation appeared only to be catering to the society. "All this while, the Punjab IAS-PCS Officers Housing Society (by a longer distance) and other housing societies were getting connected through the master plan road..."

The Bench added the compulsory acquisition exercise appeared to have been done at the costs and expense of the public exchequer and public purpose has been used as a tool to achieve private purpose. "In all the manoeuvres, the sufferer is the poor farmer whose prime piece of land is sought to be acquired and the public exchequer paying for acquisition to benefit a powerful lobby." Fixing the case for October first week, the Bench also called for report of inquiry, if any conducted.

from The Tribune https://ift.tt/3bpwkGT

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