The Punjab government on Tuesday opposed the petitioner's demand to implead deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal in a land acquisition case, terming the demand "misconceived", and sought the dismissal of the application.
The government has stated that Sukhbir could not be impleaded as party in the absence of any specific pleadings in the main petition.
The government's response came in the case wherein one Juveeza Chadha has challenged the acquisition of land for the construction of a road leading to a resort partly owned by the Badal family in SAS Nagar district.
VN Zade, special secretary, department of housing and urban development, Punjab, said the petitioner was trying to implead the deputy CM only by contending that the objections filed by landowners under Section 15 of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, had been decided by him. After the issuance and publication of a preliminary notification in September 2014 under Section 11 of the Act, the petitioner had not filed any objection, Zade said.
The government has argued that Sukhbir is neither a "necessary nor essential party" in the case.
The road in question was planned on public demand, made by the gram panchayat of Majra village, the government said, denying the allegation that the road's purpose was to benefit Metro Eco Green Resorts. "… merely because the deputy chief minister is holding shares of private limited company in his individual capacity can't be a ground to implead him as party, especially when the application for impleading the company as a respondent has already been filed. The company is a separate juristic entity and cannot be impleaded through shareholders. There is no merger of identities," Zade argued.
The petition would now be heard on July 30 as it could not be taken up for a longer period on Tuesday due to paucity of time. The order with regard to the petitioner's land would continue till further orders.
Earlier, the petitioner had sought impleading of chief minister Parkash Singh Badal as party in the case, a demand opposed by the government. The application is yet to be decided by the court.
The petitioner is a resident of Majra village, through which the controversial 100-ft-wide and 1.3-km-long road is being constructed. The resort, Metro Eco Green Resorts, at Palanpur village, is located 2 km from where this road ends. Palanpur is about 20 km from Chandigarh.