In a setback to one of the well-known stud farms in the country, Usha Stud Farm of Gurgaon, the Punjab and Haryana high court has dismissed its petition challenging acquisition of its around 53 acres land by the Haryana government around 23 years ago.
A registered company founded by an international polo player Major PK Mehra, Usha Stud and Agricultural Farms is located in village Daulatpur Nasirabad(Carterpuri), Gurgaon for breeding and training even the foreign breeds of stallions.
The company had approached the high court challenging the state government’s land acquisition notifications dated December 1988 and December 1989 under the land acquisition Act for utilization of land for residential-cum-commercial area as per development plan under the Haryana Urban Development Authority Act.
Rejecting stud farm’s counsel’s contentions, the division bench of justice Jasbir Singh and justice Augustine George Masih held, “The stud farm has come into existence in violation of the provisions as contained under the scheduled roads Act, 1963.” Even if the petitioner obtained registration from the ministry of agriculture in August 1982 but still that would not regularize the violations under the scheduled roads act which is a separate Act,” the bench held.
The bench observed that the stud farm purchased the land in 1971, much after the issuance of the notification and the construction of the buildings and stables came into existence thereafter. “It is also not in dispute that no request for change of land use or permission for erection of any building had been ever applied or granted by the authorities under the Act,” held the bench.
The petitioner’s counsel also contended that before 1989, the state government also issued a notification in November 1981 for acquisition of the same land for the same purpose. But when the petitioner approached the Supreme Court in 1986, during the pendency of the petition, a negotiated compromise formula was worked out on the basis of which the state released most of its land and the petition was withdrawn. However, the state government re-notified the same land for the same purpose in 1989 that is illegal, it was argued.
Addressing these arguments, the bench said that the petitioner’s averments cannot be accepted in light of the full bench judgment of the high court in the case of Ghanshyam Dass Goyal and others, wherein it was held “there is no legal bar for re-acquisition of same land.”