Ambience Mall case: Haryana petitions Supreme Court against HC orders

The Punjab and Haryana high court had quashed the town and country planning department’s directive to de-license two land parcels (8 acres and 3.9 acres) out of 18.98 acres approved for constructing Ambience Lagoon Island residential complex in Gurugram.
Representative image/HT
Representative image/HT
Updated on Dec 10, 2020 09:38 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | ByHitender Rao, Chandigarh

The Haryana government has challenged the July 10 orders of the Punjab and Haryana high court that quashed the town and country planning department’s directive to de-license two land parcels (8 acres and 3.9 acres) out of 18.98 acres approved for constructing Ambience Lagoon Island residential complex in Gurugram.

The de-licensed land was permitted for raising a commercial complex, Ambience Mall in Gurugram. On HC orders, the CBI had also registered a criminal case in the matter. De-licensing means that a part of the land for which a residential licence was issued was taken out of the purview of the residential licence.

The special leave petition (SLP) filed by town and country planning (TCP) department in the Supreme Court is listed for January 4 before the bench of Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and Justice Vineet Saran. As an interim relief, the petitioner has sought an ex parte stay of the operation of the HC order.

Raj Singh Gehlot, chairman and managing director of Ambience Developers, has also filed an SLP challenging the HC order. It will also be heard on January 4.

In its petition, the TCP department said that the HC passed the judgment without appreciating the provisions of various acts and rules, including the Haryana Development and Regulation of Urban Areas Act.

“Adverse remarks have been passed against officers without their impleadment and proper representation. The order of investigation and registering of an FIR was passed by the HC without giving an opportunity of hearing to the affected officers,” the petitioner said.

‘Law department advice mentioned during de-licensing’

Quoting an advice of the law and legislative department, the petitioner has contended that much before the de-licensing of eight acres in question, the department in its advice note of May 1997 in some other matter had said that licence once granted can also be allowed to be withdrawn. The advice was categorically mentioned while processing the case of eight acres of group housing land for de-licensing and for re-licensing the same land for commercial complex which was permissible in special zone earmarked in the final development plan prevailing at that time, the petitioner said.

‘Amendments made by legislature in the urban area law’

The TCP department said in its petition that an amendment has been made by the state legislature in the Haryana Development and Regulation of Urban Areas Act in order to make an explicit provision in the law for delicensing land parcels.

The assembly had approved insertion of a new clause section 3 (a) in the act which gave power to department add to, amend, vary, suspend, withdraw or rescind, licence or notification, order, rule or direction or to de-licence. Also, a validation Bill was passed by the legislature to grant legitimacy to past actions of TCP department, including de-licensing of land. “Hence, the basis of the HC judgment in this context has no footing on legal grounds,” the petitioner said.

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Sunday, November 28, 2021