The Madhya Pradesh High Court Friday directed the family of late cricketer Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi to raise in their pending writ petition the issue of state water resources department asking them to pay up for water drawn from a canal owned by the petitioners.
The order came on a contempt petition moved by Pataudi’s wife Sharmila Tagore and their children Saif Ali Khan, Saba Ali Khan and Soha Ali Khan against the water resources department.
In the writ petition filed on April 11, 2012, the petitioners had challenged a land acquisition order issued by the sub-divisional officer and land acquisition officer (tehsil Goharganj, Raisen) on July 25, 2011. Through the order, 120 acre land belonging to the Pataudi family was acquired by the state government, allegedly in violation of the norms. The government has acquired the land with the aim to construct a dam in the village Dadrod, Raisen.
Soon after the writ petition was filed, the water resources department asked the Pataudi family to pay the charges as per the irrigation norms for water drawn from the Bakolia lake through the canal, petitioners’ counsel Rajesh Pancholi said. He said, the lake is a private property of the petitioners and they irrigate nearly 320 acres of agriculture land using its water. The canal passes through a portion of the land acquired by the government, the counsel added.
The counsel said that during the time of the merger of the princely state of Bhopal with the Government of India, an agreement was reached between the rulers, the Union government and the state government wherein it was decided not to disturb or interfere in any manner with the canal, which is also a private property.
He said the petitioners will now raise the issue of charges imposed on canal water in their pending writ petition.