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Noida hotel land: SC tells Maya not to take action

The Supreme Court restrained the Mayawati Govt from dispossessing land allotted to different companies for constructing hotels in Noida, reports Bhadra Sinha.
Hindustan Times | By Bhadra Sinha, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 09, 2008 11:07 PM IST

The Supreme Court on Wednesday restrained the Mayawati government from dispossessing land allotted to different companies for constructing hotels in Noida.

A bench headed by Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan directed the UP government not to take action against the sanctioned plots that were earmarked for hotels, until the next hearing on July 18. The order was issued on a petition filed by the ITC Group. In 2006, the then UP government led by Mulayam Singh Yadav had allotted 14 plots to different companies, which was cancelled by Mayawati after she took over as CM.

Appearing for the petitioner, senior advocates Anil Diwan and Harish Salve claimed the allotments were cancelled due to the change in state's regime. "It's all about who is in power," said Salve, indicating the present government led by BSP leader Mayawati reversed the allotment orders since they were issued during Mulayam Singh's tenure. According to the ITC, Mulayam Singh's government had in 2006 prepared a special hotel policy to promote tourism in Noida and in the wake of the 2010 Commonwealth Games. The policy was issued on May 22, 2006 following which the Board of Directors of Noida handed out the allotment letters. "Every aspect of allotment including the land's price was considered," claimed the petitioner.

Subsequent to the allotment letters, the company paid the entire consideration amount, as demanded by the Noida authorities. Possession letters were issued, following which the petitioner incurred huge amount of expenses to construct boundary walls and other pre-construction preparation of leveling, mapping, planning and designing.

However, in August last year, the Authority cancelled the allotments of all the 14 hotels on the grounds of irregularities. According to the petitioner, the decision was taken at the behest of the new state government, which took charge in May 2007.

Though the ITC Group challenged the cancellation orders before the Allahabad High Court and won the case, they were once again left at the state government's mercy for further allotment. As per the High Court order of May this year, the petitioner and other allottees were asked to approach the state government, who was directed to give a hearing before issuing cancellation orders.

Diwan and Salve said the High Court's decision was erroneous as it had on one hand agreed the allotments were not irregular, but, once again left it open to the government to decide the petitioner's fate.

"The state government which has already indicated its mind, if is again directed to hear the matter, no purpose will be solved as grant of opportunity of hearing would be an empty formality. It will delay the chances of getting the hotels ready and functional for the Commonwealth Games for 2010," claimed the petitioner.

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