The state has got a last chance to make its stand clear on the ownership issue of the proposed airport site at Navi Mumbai land measuring 157 acres.
A division bench of justice PB Majmudar and justice Amjad Sayed was hearing a petition filed by the City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco) apprehending that they may lose part of the land where the Navi Mumbai airport is coming up. “It is a serious issue and a big project cannot be held up due to lack of coordination between two government departments. Make your stand clear,” said justice Majmudar.
The court has even said that it will re-look into the statement made by the government in another litigation that the land belonged to one Bhiwalkar family. “How can government concede on such an issue. It seems Adarsh is not the only thing. Thousands of plots may be like that,” said justice Majmudar.
The Cidco had filed a petition seeking that the government should not give back the 157 acres of land to Bhiwalkar family, who were the original owners, as the government had acquired the land in 1950s.
Mahendra Ghelani, counsel for the Bhiwalkars, argued that only the redevelopment right had been passed on to the government. “The land was given by me to the government to manage it under the Forest Act,” said Ghelani.
As the government failed to take steps to restore the land to Biwalkars, they have filed contempt of court petition, added Ghelani. The high court has asked the government to file an affidavit by February 25 and kept the matter for hearing on February 28.
Justice Sayed said: “If two (government) departments differ on the issue, then file two affidavits.”