The Bombay High Court on Wednesday stayed development on 613 acres of land in Pune handed over to Tata Telecommunications.
The said plot spread over four regions in Pune — Dighi, Bopkhel, Bhosri and Kalas — has been under dispute since 1925 after the state government acquired 1,238 acres to give to Indian Radio and Telegraph Company (IRTC).
But the IRTC allowed villagers to continue cultivation and the state collected agricultural cess. But after Indepen-dence, IRTC was nationalised and under the disinvestment policy, a majority stake was handed over to Tata Telecommunications.
For years, villagers asked the government for compensation and finally approached the high court in 2008. The state had argued that as it owned the land, there was no need to acquire it and pay compensation.
Praful Shah, advocate for the villagers, argued that if it was the government’s land, then why had it issued a notification under the Land Acquisition Act in 1925.
Principal secretary, Revenue and Forest department, filed an affidavit saying it has found “some records” according to which compensation for 625 acres of land had been paid.