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Tuesday, Nov 19, 2019

Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Hospital Trust trying to delay lease cancellation proceedings: HC

The trust got 5.3 acres of Panchayat land in Gururgram in 2010 on a lease for 33 years for setting up hospital

chandigarh Updated: Sep 29, 2019 00:20 IST
Surender Sharma
Surender Sharma
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Hindustantimes
         

Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust, running an eye hospital in Gurugram, has been categorically told by Punjab and Haryana high court that it was trying to delay the lease cancellation proceedings initiated by the Haryana government.

The trust, chaired by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, got five acres and three marlas of Ulhawas panchayat land in Gurugram in 2010 on a lease for 33 years for setting up the charitable hospital. There was a stipulation that the hospital will be constructed within two years of the lease period. However, hospital could be made operational in October 2017.

The change of land use (CLU) granted by previous Congress government has remained mired in controversies with the BJP, then in the opposition, alleging favouritism. It was on March 9, 2018, that the trust was served a show-cause notice by the development and panchayats department, asking it as to why the lease should not be cancelled.

“There is an interim protection in favour of the petitioner (trust), the entire endeavour is only to delay the matter. The information with regard to other departments is also being pressed, for which there was no direction by this court,” the September 23 order passed by the bench of justice Avneesh Jhingan says. The order was passed in trust’s August 16, 2019, contempt petition, alleging that Haryana government was not complying with the direction of high court on supply of certain documents with regard to the project.

In April 2018, a high court division bench while disposing of a petition of the trust had directed that government would provide relevant documents to the trust, within a specific time period, about the show-cause notice for lease cancellation slapped by the government. The court had restrained the government from taking any coercive action till the time documents are supplied. The trust had moved court with contempt petition in August 2019, claiming that requisite documents are not being supplied.

The court now, while disposing of the petition, directed that trust will respond to lease cancellation notice within four weeks and thereafter state will pass a ‘speaking order; within another four weeks. “In case there is any delay attributed to the petitioner in filing the reply, the interim protection granted by this court shall be deemed to be vacated,” the bench has ordered. Appearing for the state, additional advocate general Deepak Sabharwal had informed the court that entire information has been provided to the trust. As trust’s counsel cited some more documents, same were supplied in the court during the proceedings.

In June 2017, the district town planner (enforcement), Gurgaon, had rejected the occupation certificate of the trust and asked it to stop the construction work. However, the trust got a stay order from the high court. The government claims hospital is not fully operational, despite exceeding the deadline period, while the hospital alleges ‘political victimisation’ at the hands of the BJP government.