The Supreme Court has sought Uttar Pradesh CM Mayawati's stand on a lawsuit by a resident of the state's Badalpur village, who alleges that while his plot was acquired by the government, the plot owned by Mayawati in the same village was exempted.
A bench of Justice H.S. Bedi and Justice J.M. Panchal sought Mayawati's stand, issuing notice to her in her personal capacity and not as chief minister. Notices were issued early this month to Mayawati's father Prabhu Dayal and brother Anand as well.
On the lawsuit by Khazan Singh of Badalpur village in Gautam Budh Nagar -- an Uttar Pradesh district adjacent to national capital New Delhi -- notices were issued also to the state government, the Gautam Budh Nagar collector and the Greater Noida Development Authority, which had issued notification in June 2007 to acquire Singh's plot.
Singh has moved the apex court, challenging the September 2009 order of the Allahabad High Court, upholding the state government's land acquisition notification for the development of Greater Noida.
In his lawsuit challenging the notification, Singh has alleged that the government is out to grab his 0.6410 hectare (around 7,000 square metre) plot, while exempting Mayawati's land spread over 4,7433.36 square yards (39,369 square metre) where she is constructing a bungalow.
The high court had dismissed Singh's lawsuit after the state government and the Greater Noida Development Authority said the plot belonging to the chief minister and her relatives were for residential purposes and accordingly out of the ambit of the Land Acquisition Act.
Singh's counsel Ashok Mathur has contended that his client's plot is also for residential purposes.
"This is borne out by the fact that Greater Noida Development Authority has even fixed the circle rate of the area, where his land lies, at Rs.8,000 per square metre. This clearly indicates the entire land of the village has been considered as abadi (residential) land," said Mathur.
Complaining about the government's alleged bias in favour of the chief minister, Singh said the government had gone to the extent of changing the category of Mayawati's plot from agricultural to non-agricultural to keep it out of the ambit of acquisition.
The conversion took place in May 2006, a year before the notification to acquire land was issued, Singh said in his lawsuit.
Questioning the protection granted to Mayawati's plot, Singh has also assailed the acquisition order on the ground that Badalpur village was beyond the notified area of the Greater Noida Development Authority.
He has alleged that the authority has so far failed to develop 60 percent of the area it acquired after it came into existence in 1991.
Greater Noida Development Authority had issued the acquisition notification of land in Badalpur in June 2007 under an emergency clause. The Uttar Pradesh government wants to develop the area to attract foreign investors to the region.