Badals’ resort row: Punjab and Haryana high court notice to Punjab CM

Badals' resort controversy: HC notice to Punjab CM on an application filed to implead him as party
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Updated on May 28, 2015 12:02 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | By

The Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday issued a notice to Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on an application filed by a SAS Nagar resident, who had sought impleading him as party in a land acquisition case.

The case pertains to land acquired by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) in Majra village of SAS Nagar district for the construction of a road leading to some villages and a resort partly owned by Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and his wife, Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal.

The chief minister had chaired a meeting of GMADA, which cleared the road to the resort. Citing “conflict of interest”, the petitioner has questioned as to how the CM could chair a meeting for the project in which the matter of a road -- which leads to a resort owned by his own family -- was to be taken up.

The notices were also sent to the resort, Metro Eco Green Resorts Pvt Ltd; East India Hotels Pvt Ltd (New Delhi), a shareholder in the resort; the Union government; and the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB).

The high court also directed Punjab not to carry out any construction activity on the land owned by the petitioner till further orders. The next date for hearing has been fixed for Friday.

The petitioner, Juveeza Chadha, claimed that the resort was being built on forest land. The regional empowered committee of the Union government gave the final nod to the resort on April 13, 2015. However, its construction was going on for the past three years, the petitioner alleged in the application submitted to the high court. She has also alleged that the PIDB planned to construct a lake and a ropeway in the vicinity of the resort.

GMADA defends land acquisition

In its reply, GMADA has defended the acquisition and stated that 60 days’ requisite time was given for the objections. It further stated that the land award was passed on February 27; the same day, 22 affected persons received compensation. But she (petitioner) did not turn up and the compensation in her case was deposited on April 18. The area was facing traffic congestion, GMADA has submitted, further arguing that a resolution was passed by Majra village panchayat to construct the road.

The petitioner is a resident of Majra village, through which the controversial 100-ft-wide and 1.3-km-long road is being constructed. Metro Eco Green Resorts at Palanpur village is located 2 km from where this road ends. The petitioner has challenged the acquisition of her land portion measuring 7 kanal, 15 marlas in April for the construction of the New Master Plan road by GMADA. She has alleged violation of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency and Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, by the state government in land acquisition.


What’s the case

The case pertains to land acquired by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) in Majra village of SAS Nagar district for the construction of a road leading to a resort partly owned by Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and his wife, Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal

Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had chaired a meeting of GMADA, which cleared the road to the resort. Citing “conflict of interest”, the petitioner questioned as to how the CM could chair a meeting for the project in which the issue of a road -- which leads to a resort owned by his own family -- was to be taken up.

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