Gurugram land deal: Haryana govt cancels license granted to Robert Vadra’s firm
Seven years after it took over the reins of the state, the BJP-led Haryana government has cancelled the real estate development license granted to Robert Vadra’s Sky Light Hospitality Private Limited in Gurugram during the Congress reign in 2008. The cancellation order was issued by director, town and country planning (TCP), Haryana on March 9.
In 2012, the license to develop a commercial colony was transferred by Sky Light to realty major DLF Retail Developer Limited for ₹58 crore. A real estate development licence allows the holder to set up a colony for residential, commercial or industrial purposes.
Mutation set aside but never given effect by revenue authorities
The land deal became the focus of a controversy in 2012 after IAS officer Ashok Khemka, who was then posted as director general, consolidation of holdings, set aside the mutation (number 4513) of Sky Light’s 3.53 acre on October 15, 2012. However, his orders to set aside the mutation were never given effect by the Gurugram revenue administration.
An April 25, 2014 communication by the Gurugram deputy commissioner said there is no change in the status of mutation (number 4513) and it shows the ownership of land in favour of DLF. The land deal was one of the poll planks of the BJP in the run-up to 2014 Lok Sabha and assembly polls.
Mutation is the transfer or change of title of a property in the land records of the revenue department. As per the Haryana Development and Regulation of Urban Areas Act, the licence holder should have a clear title to the land.
Sky Light Hospitality was granted license by the town and country planning department for developing a commercial colony on 2.701 acre in revenue estate of Shikohpur village (now Sector 83), Gurugram on December 15, 2008 during the Congress reign under Bhupinder Singh Hooda. Later, Sky Light, by way of a sale deed of September 18, 2012, sold 3.53 acre land, including the licensed area of 2.701 acre to DLF for ₹58 crore.
Director, town and country planning (TCP), Haryana, K Makrand Pandurang said the license granted to Sky Light Hospitality has been cancelled as there was a dispute pertaining to the title of the land and the developer has not been able to undertake development works on the site even after 13 years.
“The land in question now becomes agricultural. Since no third-party rights have been created, the department of town and country planning will not take over its possession,” the director said.
On whether DLF can apply for a fresh license, the director said the dispute involving the title of the land needs to be resolved first.
DLF challenges the cancellation order
Realty major DLF, which is the only aggrieved party in the matter, has now filed an appeal before the additional chief secretary (ACS), town and country planning, challenging the cancellation order.
“The main reason for cancellation of the license is not coming forth in the order which is non-speaking. The director, TCP has failed to show under which statutory provisions the license has been cancelled in view of the fact that after sanction of building plans in 2012, it was beyond the control of company that development works could not be completed. The conclusion that license is cancelled since the developer failed to complete development works in 12 years is unsustainable in the eyes of law,” said the appeal.
In a communication to the government, DLF said the development works could not be completed due to the pendency of the renewal of license. An application with necessary fee and charges for the transfer of the license was also submitted, it said.
“The director, town and country planning had on April, 3, 2012 granted permission under Rule 17 of the Haryana Development and Regulation of Urban Areas Rules for transfer of licensed land under the aforesaid license in favour of DLF Universal Ltd (now DLF Home Developers Ltd),” said the communication.
“In pursuance of the permission granted, a sale deed with respect to the licensed land was duly executed and registered on September 18, 2o12 by Sky Light Hospitality in favour DLF Universal. Subsequently, the name of DLF Universal was also mutated in the revenue records by mutation number 4513 of September 20, 2012. However, the final transfer order was still pending consideration in your office,” said the communication.
The communication further said DLF is under statutory obligation to apply for the renewal of the license upon its lapsing and all the statutory obligations are being fulfilled within stipulated time allowing with requisite fee and charges being paid by the company. Vadra’s lawyer, Suman Khaitan did not respond to a telephonic call for version.
A DLF spokesperson said the development works could not be carried out as the license had not been renewed.
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