The Punjab and Haryana high court has directed the Haryana government to ensure that the nature of more than 100 acres of vacant shamlat (government) land in Karnal district, that Ambala MLA Venod Sharma possesses for setting up Piccadily Agro Industries sugar mill, should not be changed.
The directions came from the division bench comprising justice Hemant Gupta and justice Rajiv Narain Raina on a petition challenging illegal possession of shamlat land measuring 168 acres, 2 kanal and 17 marla in gram panchayat Bhadson of Indri tehsil in district Karnal.
Gram panchayat Bhadson had approached the high court seeking quashing of the entire process of transfer of shamlat land to Venod Sharma in 1994, which he had allegedly taken by misusing his political power.
The bench was apprised that as per Supreme Court's orders dated January 28, 2011 in 'Jagpal Singh and other V/s State of Punjab' case all the states and union territories were directed to restore the panchayat land back to the villages from illegal possession of individuals.
It was submitted that more than 60% of this land was being used as agriculture land/farm house by a single person by usurping the interest of the entire population of the village and the sugar mill was established on hardly 40% of the land.
The court was apprised that earlier also a Bhadson villager Gurdiyal Singh had approached the high court challenging handing over shamlat land to Sharma. It was submitted that the high court on March 3 last year had disposed of the case with the directions to the petitioner to file an application before the concerned state authority to give effect to the Apex Court order.
The court was informed that after this a representation was made on March 24, 2011 before the state chief secretary and director panchayat department but no action has been taken by the authorities till date.
The case would not come up for hearing on August 29.