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More than 14 months have passed, HUDA sleeping over SC judgment

chandigarh Updated: May 02, 2012 12:21 IST
Bhartesh Singh Thakur
Bhartesh Singh Thakur
Hindustan Times
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More than 14 months have passed after Supreme Court (SC) dismissed the appeal of chairman of Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC), RN Prashar, which cancelled the allotment of his plot no 190 at Sector 4 Mansa Devi Complex (MDC), Panchkula. But Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) is yet to implement the decision.

"We have gone there twice to take possession of plot. Once, RN Prashar's house was locked and second time he was not available," said a junior engineer of HUDA.

Administrator, HUDA, Surjit Singh said, "It is the estate officer who has to implement the order. You may ask chief administrator about it."

Chief administrator DPS Nagal also advised to contact estate officer. When asked about implementing SC order, Ashwani Sharma, Estate Officer, HUDA, Panchkula, reiterated, "Within a day or two, we will implement the order."

In the illegal release of land in the name of Prasher and then its exchange with a plot worth of crores in Sector 4 MDC, it was the Punjab and Haryana high court, which itself took cognisance of the matter as some petitioners, including RN Prashar, seeking enhancement of compensation after land acquisition started withdrawing their petitions.

Role of Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda
In its judgment, dated October 28, 2010, High Court said that it was under the order of chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda the land was released to Prashar with a note on July 24, 2006- "CM has seen keeping in view the extraordinary circumstances explained by Sh. Prashar in his representations dated 13.5.2005 and 14.9.2005 the matter be processed for releasing the remaining part of land against which he will return the compensation amount along with the interest thereon. CM has further ordered that a proposal to this effect be brought up before the HUDA Authority."

Thereafter, the proposal was put up in the 98th meeting of HUDA same year and release of land and its exchange with plot in Sector 4 of MDC was approved, under chief minister Hooda, who is also chairman of HUDA.

Story so far
Prashar had land at Bhainsa Tibba village near Mansa Devi temple. Out of which, for land measuring 848 square meters an award was announced by the land acquisition collector on September 5, 2000. The land was released from acquisition in 2006 under Hooda's orders and instead of handing over possession of the released land, plot no 190 was allotted to Prashar in exchange of the released land by HUDA.

The high court bench headed by justice MM Kumar and justice Rajesh Bindal had commented in 2010, "…it is a case where a senior functionary of the government (RN Prashar) had been able to give a complete go-by to the provisions of the Act (Land Acquisition Act) by successfully saving the land owned by him from acquisition ever since 1981. The provisions of the Act were swept under the carpet to satisfy his luxurious needs …for construction of his palatial house."

The high court had even remarked, "The state is trustee of the people. If by violating the Act and the rules, some benefit is granted to someone favourite the court can always step in, as it was not a bounty, which was being distributed by the state."

Prashar filed an appeal, which was rejected by SC last year in February.

Who is RN Prashar
Prashar retired in 2009 as financial commissioner and principal secretary to the Haryana government irrigation department. After retirement, he was re-employed as the principal advisor to the Haryana chief minister for a year. He took over as the chairman of HERC on January 4, 2012.