THE STATE Government has succeeded in retaining its hold on a prized 20-acre piece of land worth Rs 10 crore with the Supreme Court ruling in its favour via an interim order last week.
Although the Apex Court may take another year to issue the final order, the government’s success in the case so far is surprising looking at the lapses committed by revenue officials during the 15-year legal battle.
The land included a stone quarry on the hillock called Bhuri Tekri in Bicholi Hapsi village of Indore tehsil, which is now a pond. Adjacent to it are some shanties.
A resident of the area, Hiralal, who formed a cooperative society of labourers, had filed a civil suit against State Government claiming possession of the quarry in his capacity as president of the society. He even deposited Rs 1.50 lakh as royalty for the quarry. The suit, was, however, dismissed. Undeterred, he filed a second suit in the court of the additional district judge where he declared himself to be the owner of the land.
This time, the trial proceeded ex-parte, as the revenue officials did not appear in the court for hearings to present the government’s stand. Although there was no reply from officials, the court smelled a rat and dismissed the suit. The petitioner then filed an appeal against the trial court order, which also he lost.
He then approached the Indore High Court bench, which ruled in his favour. The State Government challenged the HC decree
in the Supreme Court, which granted a stay in the very first hearing. Two months ago, Hiralal, through his counsel Ravindra Shrivastav, moved an application for vacating the stay in the Apex Court. The State Government opposed the vacation of stay through its counsel B S Banthia.
After hearing both pleas, the Apex Court dismissed Hiralal’s application for vacating the stay in an order issued last week, Banthia informed over phone from New Delhi.