Badal resort row: Petitioner wants deputy CM Sukhbir impleaded

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: May 30, 2015 09:03 IST

A SAS Nagar resident, who has challenged acquisition of her land for the construction of a road leading to a resort owned by the Badal family, on Friday sought to make deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal party to the case.

Petitioner Juveeza Chadha on Friday submitted before the Punjab and Haryana high court that the decisions on objections under Section 15 of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, had been taken by Sukhbir, who also holds shares in the resort. The social impact assessment (SIA) report was also approved at the level of the deputy CM, the petitioner has told the court.

"Land acquisition has been dealt with at various levels by the deputy chief minister, who is also a beneficiary of the acquisition because he is having a large number of shares in the resort," the petitioner submitted.

The high court division bench of justice AK Mittal and justice Rekha Mittal has issued notices to the Punjab government and the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) to seek their responses on the application. The high court, after submissions from various parties, posted the matter for further hearing on July 1. The interim stay on the construction of the road on land owned by the petitioner would also continue till further orders.

Govt opposes plea to implead CM

The Punjab government opposed the petitioner's demand to implead chief minister Parkash Singh Badal as party in the case. The demand to implead CM, among others, as additional respondents is "misconceived and deserves to be dismissed" as they are neither necessary nor proper parties, the government said.

The government also argued that the petitioner's contention was that the master plan was changed in order to benefit a private person, but she (petitioner Juveeza Chadha) did not object to the change of the master plan when public notices were issued.

The allegations are "vague and fanciful", without proper verification, the government further said, arguing that "facts stated are either vague or part of official files of the department". The government argued how she verified the facts as they were part of official files.

"The petitioner has not approached the high court with clean hands," VN Zade, special secretary, department of housing and urban development, Punjab, told the court, seeking directions to Chadha to disclose her "source".

The government's reply came on an application seeking impleading the CM, Metro Eco Green Resorts Pvt and others as parties in the case. Badal had presided over a meeting that decided to amend the Mullanpur master plan and construct a 100-ft-wide road leading to the resort.

Dispute over land acquisition

The petitioner, Juveeza Chadha, is a resident of Majra village (SAS Nagar), through which the controversial 100-ft-wide and 1.3-km-long road is being constructed. Metro Eco Green Resorts at Palanpur village is located 2 km from where this road ends. The petitioner has challenged the acquisition of her land measuring 7 kanals, 15 marlas in April for the construction of the road by Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) under the new master plan.

GMADA argued that the land was acquired for public purposes and the petitioner be debarred from raking up the issue. The additional list to implead more persons had been filed to prolong the litigation, it has argued.

"This is an attempt to complicate the issue in question. If she is aggrieved with any action of any private party, she is free to avail appropriate remedy in separate proceedings," Navjot Kaur, additional chief administrator, GMADA, told the court.

Congress protest on Saturday

Chandigarh: The Punjab Congress would hold a protest on Saturday against deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal's eco-tourism resort, coming up at Palanpur village in SAS Nagar district.

The protest will be led by All India Youth Congress president Amrinder Singh Raja Warring at the Siswan T-point near Majra village at 9.30 am. Punjab Youth Congress (PYC) president Vikram Chaudhary, Kharar MLA Jagmohan Singh Kang, former MP Vijay Inder Singla and other party leaders, along with PYC activists, will take part in the protest.

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