Bombay HC Accepts Withdrawal Of Order Of Regularisation In Nagpur Land Allotment Case

In a relief to Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, the Bombay High Court on Thursday accepted the withdrawal of an order of regularisation issued by him last week in connection with the Nagpur land allotment case and observed it was treating the matter as closed. The matter pertains to allotment of a land parcel in Nagpur by Shinde when he was the urban development minister in the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government. The HC was earlier told the land meant for housing slum-dwellers was allotted to private persons.

On December 14, a division bench of Justices Sunil Shukre and M W Chandwani of the HC’s Nagpur bench, ordered status quo on the land allotment decision taken by Shinde in 2021.

On Tuesday (December 20), Shinde said as the urban development minister in 2021, he had passed an order in which he did not recommend reducing or decreasing the rate of land in question, but noted that charges should be applied for the plot as per government rules.

The CM had said when it was brought to his notice that the land allotment matter was pending in the court, he cancelled his earlier order, dated April 20, 2021, on December 16, 2022.

Chief Minister Shinde holds the urban development portfolio now also.

“Considering the fact that now the order of regularisation has been withdrawn by the Chief Minister as per his order dated 16-12-2022, we are of the view that the purpose of the order dated 14-12-2022 passed by this court has been served and now this issue is closed,” the HC observed on Thursday.

The bench made the observation after it was informed that the chief Minister, by an order of December 16, has withdrawn the order of regularisation.

The HC was also informed that there was a factual error in the December 14 order and it pertains to the statement of fact that the land in question was acquired for a housing scheme for slum-dwellers. However, it was pointed out that the subject land was meant for another scheme.

Nagpur-based social activist Anil Wadpalliwar had filed a petition, alleging the Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT), a local planning authority constituted under the state government’s urban development department, gave away land to politicians and others at meagre rates.

The division bench, in its order passed on December 14, noted that the court since 2004 has been monitoring land allotments made by the NIT to politicians and other influential individuals.

On December 14, the bench was informed by amicus curie (appointed by court to assist) advocate Anand Parchure that Shinde, during his tenure as the urban development minister directed the NIT to give away land acquired for a housing scheme for slum-dwellers to 16 private persons.

“If any such order as claimed is really passed then we would direct the authorities to maintain status quo till the next date,” the court had then said.

The land allotment issue had snowballed into a major political controversy with Opposition parties seeking Shinde’s resignation.

(This report has been published as part of the auto-generated syndicate wire feed. Apart from the headline, no editing has been done in the copy by ABP Live.)