The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court on Friday issued a show cause to Revenue Minister, Narayan Rane, for allegedly helping a Nagpur-based industrialist to grab their land.
Responding to a writ petition, filed by Shailendra Sahu, a single-judge bench of Justice Bhushan Dharmadhikari has asked Rane and other respondents to reply to the notice within two weeks.
The respondents include the secretary for Revenue and Forest, and Aspi Bapuna, who is managing director of Vidarbha Distilleries.
The court has asked the government that any order passed by the minister will not be in affect until the petition filed by Sahu and his brothers is pending.
The petitioners are joint owners of Nazul Land at Indora in Nagpur, which was allotted to their grandfather, Sunderlal, by the then Central Provinces and Berar Governor in March 1942 on a 30-year lease.
The area of the land was 5.10 acre. The lease was renewed from 1972 to 1978 and later until 2008.
In 1975, the Sahu family, Bapuna and three others started Vidarbha Distilleries on 30,000 sq ft of the their land. The Sahus gave the land to the company on rent of Rs 1,100 a month.
A dispute arose between Sahu and Bapuna in 1996 over illegal encroachment of Vidarbha Distilleries over the former’s land. Bapuna approached Rane in March 2008.
On April 17, the Sahus received a letter from Under Secretary, Revenue and Forest, Ravindra Nalwade, asking them to meet Rane in his chamber in Mumbai on April 20.
The Sahus and their lawyer went to meet the minister.
The petitioners later alleged that Rane was taking personal interest in the case and was ready to pass an order favouring Bapuna without giving them the chance to reply.
The Sahus then moved court for the quashing of Bapuna’s complaint.