HYDERABAD: Ending decades-old litigation, the Telangana High Court on Friday ruled in favour of the State government paving the way for it to resume 142.39 acres of prime land, which is valued at Rs 10,000 crore at Manchirevula in Rajendranagar mandal of Rangareddy district by reversing the orders of a single judge bench.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice N Tukaramji opined that the single judge had erred in law and on facts in allowing the writ petition.
The bench made it clear that all landowners gave a power of attorney in 1991 to MA Baksh, who executed various sale deeds, and even though the GPA was cancelled later after execution of the sale deeds, it does not have any consequence since the sale deeds executed per se constitute a violation. The cancellation of the GPA by no stretch of imagination can come to the rescue of the landholders, it observed.
The then government had sanctioned assignment of 200 acres to the landless poor in 1953. The rules prohibit transfer of land by the assignees without sanction of the Collector. Later, the revenue authorities wrote to the Secretary of Revenue Department stating that since the 142.39 acres of land is fit for cultivation, the landless poor could use it for cultivation.
Grantees ‘violated’ the terms of assignment order
The Tahsildar in 1961 issued temporary patta certificates to persons in possession of the land, which made it very clear that the grantees were not empowered to transfer the occupancy without the prior sanction of the Collector.
But all those persons in whose favour the assignment was done, executed a power of attorney in favour of builder MA Baksh in 1991, empowering him to enter into an agreement to sell the land in question which was a violation of the terms and conditions of the assignment order, as the land was sold without the permission of the Collector. In 1994, the Collector issued a show-cause notice for the cancellation of assignment orders.
While all this was going on, the Inspector General, Special Security Force submitted proposals for acquisition for the purpose of setting up of operational headquarters and training, along with residential accommodation.
The assignees challenged show-cause notice in the High Court which directed them to submit their representations to the Collector. After considering the representations, the Collector passed an order of resumption. The assignees, aggrieved by the orders passed by the Collector, preferred writ petitions which the HC allowed in 2006.