JAIPUR: The Rajasthan High Court has ordered a stay on the dream project of Baba Ramdev in Karuali district in the state—a big setback to the yoga guru-turned-entrepreneur. In April this year, Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje had laid the foundation stone for Ramdev’s pet project of setting up a Yog Peeth, Gurukul, Ayurveda Hospital, Ayurvedic pharmaceutical unit and a gaushala at a cost of 500 crore.
But the single-judge bench of Justice SP Sharma, in its interim order, said no possession, construction and lease agreement will be executed for the land, and has instructed the Devisthan Commissioner to ensure compliance with the order. The court has also ordered the department to protect the properties of Govind Dev ji temple, spread over 729 bighas of agriculture land in Karuali district, from which Ramdev’s project was to get land.
The court passed the order on a petition filed by Ram Kumar Singh challenging the agreement between Govind Dev Ji Mandir Trust and Bharat Swabhiman Trust of Baba Ramdev. The agreement was made in August 2016 for 401 bighas of land of Govind Dev Ji Mandir Trust to be leased for 20 years to Bharat Swabhiman Trust for the ambitious project.
The proposed project kicked off a major row because the land in question is categorised as agricultural land in revenue records, and without changing the land use category a commercial project cannot be set up on it. This had put the Raje government in a quandary as the rules do not allow conversion of the land that Ramdev wanted. No work has started on the project as the land allotment is caught in a legal tangle. As per the Rajasthan Tenancy Act, the temple land belongs to the idol inside, which is considered a perpetual minor.
As per the Rajasthan Tenancy Act, the temple land belongs to the idol inside, which is considered a perpetual minor. The petitioner says that as per the law the temple trust can neither sell the land nor rent it out for non-agricultural purposes, and this has led to the High Court order.