BENGALURU: In a setback to the state government, the High Court on Friday quashed a government order cancelling the land granted in favour of Joy Ice Creams Pvt Ltd which, in turn, sold it to Prestige Estates Projects Ltd.
While allowing the petition filed by Prestige, Joy Ice Creams and one another, Justice B S Patil observed that the government order cancelling the grant of land measuring 3.23 acres in Survey No.42 of Pattanduru Agrahara, Krishnarajapura hobli in city, in favour of Joy Ice Creams is unsustainable. The petitioners have challenged the order dated August 6, 2015 passed by the Principal Secretary, Revenue Department and Government Order dated August 11, 2015.
In the order, the judge observed that the allegations of fraud are unfounded. Merely because a different establishment takes over the land and there is possibility of looking at the action is a different way, settled things cannot be unsettled, jeopardising the rights of third parties. Prestige has invested huge amounts of money on the project. Several innocent people have already invested in the flats constructed. Therefore, it was neither just nor reasonable for the government to pass such an order annulling all transactions including the sale deeds executed, the judge said.
Further, the judge stated there was an agreement between them to jointly develop the land belonging to Joy Ice Creams. It cannot be said that there was fraudulent design to knock off public property and that the sale of land by Joy Ice Creams to Prestige is illegal. The Government Order suffers from serious illegality and errors of justification and hence it is unsustainable.
In 2006, the land in question was allotted to Joy Ice Creams by KIADB. After purchasing the land from Joy Ice Creams, Prestige constructed a multi-storeyed residential building consisting of 21 floors and four villas. Later, the government withdrew the condition relating to non-alienation of the land and deputy commissioner also withdrew all conditions imposed while granting land. Subsequently, the land grant in favour of Joy Ice Creams was cancelled on the ground that it has violated the conditions.