Global City Project: Bishnoi, Chautala withdraw pleas to pave way for launch
Decks have been cleared for the launch of Haryana government’s ambitious Global City project in Gurugram as the three writ petitions challenging the acquisition of land have been disposed of as “not pressed and withdrawn” by the Punjab and Haryana high court
Decks have been cleared for the launch of Haryana government’s ambitious Global City project in Gurugram as the three writ petitions challenging the acquisition of land have been disposed of as “not pressed and withdrawn” by the Punjab and Haryana high court.
The high court in 2016 had ordered a stay on the acquisition of the land parcels in Gurugram on which the Global City project, proposed over a 1,000 acres, was to come up. The lifting of the stay order following the dismissal of these petitions is crucial in making the land encumbrance free and available for the project.
The three writ petitions were filed by former Congress (now BJP) leader Kuldeep Bishnoi; Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) leader, Ajay Chautala, father of Haryana deputy CM Dushyant Chautala, who holds the industries and commerce portfolio; as well as the gram panchayat of Gharauli Khurd.
The petitioners had challenged the acquisition of the land in question, which was initially proposed to be utilised for a joint venture special economic zone by HSIIDC and Reliance Ventures Ltd. The acquisition was challenged on the grounds that 1,383 acres of Gurugram land, which was acquired by the state government for public purpose, was transferred to a joint venture company M/s Reliance Haryana SEZ Ltd (RHSL) and therefore the acquisition is illegal.
Since certain petitions were filed by land owners seeking relief under Section 24(2) of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (RFCTLARR) Act, the three petitions were tagged with them.
As the issues with regards to the interpretation of Section 24(2) of RFCTLARR Act were pending before the Supreme Court, the high court in 2016 adjourned these cases sine die till the apex court decided on the matter and directed the parties to maintain status quo on possession.
Chautala, Bishnoi did not press for continuation
While the petition filed by Chautala was permitted to be withdrawn by the high court on November 15, 2022, the petition by Bishnoi was disposed of as “not pressed” by the high court on November 21, 2022, after the counsel for the petitioner made a statement at the Bar that he has instructions not to pursue it.
The petition by gram panchayat of Gharauli Khurd and others was disposed of on January 19, 2023.
The Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC) which is implementing the project had filed applications before the high court seeking a vacation of the stay on land parcels in Gurugram. But before they did that, the corporation was caught on the wrong foot in October 2022.
Soon after a delegation, led by chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, visited the United Arab Emirates in October last year to market the project, the HSIIDC woke up to the reality that acquisition of 1,000 acres earmarked for the project was under challenge in three separate writ petitions before the high court. Subsequently, two HSIIDC officials – a general manager and a manager looking after legal matters -- were placed under suspension by the managing director for not doing due diligence in apprising the state government about the litigation on the land.
The board of directors of HSIIDC in November then decided that sites for the global city project will be floated and put up for e-auction after the vacation of status quo orders by the high court.
The HSIIDC later filed applications in the high court seeking a vacation of stay stating that the land transferred to RHSL has been reverted to HSIIDC. The SEZ project was shelved in 2014 and a conveyance deed of the land was executed in favour of HSIIDC on August 29, 2014 by RHSL for reversion of land to HSIIDC.
Launch plan for the project
The Global City, a mixed land use township in Gurugram, will be developed on about 1,000 acres to redefine the concept of urban development and what cities of the future shall look like through its sustainability-focused future-oriented infrastructure planning and design.
The HSIIDC initially plans to launch about 199 acres in four land parcels of different sizes and put them up for e-auction by February end, officials said.
Land in Khandsa, Narsinghpur, Mohammadpur Jharsa, Garauli Khurd and Garhi Harsaru in Gurugram will be used for the development of the project , HSIIDC officials said.