Taking up a public interest litigation filed by the villagers of Wazirabad, Gurgaon challenging Haryana government’s land acquisition process of forest land measuring around 278 acres in 2003 for “public purpose” and later in 2010 handing it over to DLF developers, the Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday issued notice of motion to the state government, DLF and the centre government.
However, while hearing the petition the division bench comprising chief justice Ranjan Gogoi and justice Mahesh Grover also questioned the petitioner’s counsel about the ‘locus standi’(legal standing before a court) of the petitioner in filing the petition stating that the petition could also be a sponsored litigation by DLF’s competitor.
The petitioners Raj Kumar and Nahar Singh alleged that major chunk of disputed village panchayat land was a notified forest area, as per the forest department record. The petitioners added that no permission from the competent authority had been taken in the present case, either before the acquisition of the land or even till date. The bench was informed that under provisions of the Forest Conservation Act, 1980, no forest land can be used for non-forest purposes without prior permission of the union ministry of environment and forest.
The bench was informed that the land was acquired for the purpose of development of recreational/leisure project and other utilities, however, as per the letter of allotment dated February 9, 2010 the land has been transferred to DLF for construction and sale of Golf Villas by the project name ‘Magnolias’. It was submitted that after grabbing the land in collusion with the state government just at the rate of Rs. 12,000 per sq mtr, DLF is selling the Golf Villas at the rate varying between Rs. 19,000 to Rs. 22,000 per sq feet.
The matter would now come up for hearing on July 12.