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Manesar land scam: Buyers confused, but take solace in land going to govt

Hoped the government agencies—Huda and HSIIDC—would do justice. Plan to approach legal experts to understand the implications of the Supreme Court’s setting aside August 24, 2007 decision of the Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Congress government to drop the land acquisition proceedings for over 600 acres

gurgaon Updated: Mar 13, 2018 23:34 IST
Dhananjay Jha
Dhananjay Jha
Hindustan Times
Landowners and villagers claim that of the total land bought from them, only 33 acre land has high-rise towers, and the rest continues to be undeveloped. (Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)

Investors who bought plots and flats from different developers on the disputed 688 acres gave mixed reactions to the Supreme Court’s Monday order.

While some were worried, others hoped the government agencies would do justice, as many said they felt safer since their housing projects would now be with the government instead of a private developer.

The decision on the ₹1,500 crore land acquisition fraud came on Monday nearly two-and-a-half years after the farmers moved the Supreme Court in 2015 seeking cancellation of the developers’ licences after they acquired land from farmers at throwaway prices citing government land acquisition notices, which were later withdrawn.

“The SC decision is not clear on compensation to plot and flat buyers. We booked our plot eight years ago and still the land is undeveloped. We have paid 90% amount to the developer and now we get to know that land acquisition has been scrapped. How is our money safe? The decision says Huda or HSIIDC will deliver plots and flats to us at prevailing market rate, which is not fair. The only good thing is that now we are safe in the hands of the government bodies. We will shortly hold a meeting of plot and flat buyers,” Naresh Jindal, president of ABW Manesar Allotee Welfare Society, said.

After developers purchased land from farmers, they got licences from the Haryana government to develop residential and commercial projects. The apex court’s order states that the licences of developers should be cancelled.

Nearly 5,000 buyers have booked flats, plots and commercial establishments with different developers on the disputed land which have been restored to Huda/HSIIDC. Since developers are no longer owners of the land, the fate of all bookings of buyers is in the hands of the two government agencies. The court has asked Huda/HSIIDC to make sure buyers do suffer and that they are compensated suitably.

“Each person is interpreting the Supreme Court’s judgment differently, and there is a lot of speculation, so I believe it would be incorrect to comment right now. But, I do hope that Huda and HSIIDC will resolve buyers’ issues, something the developers did not do all these years. I will consult a legal expert in this regard,” TS Rawat, who bought a floor in a project by ABW Infrastructure, said.

“I booked a flat in a high-rise tower of DLF Greens in Manesar but I have not got the possession as yet. Now, the land acquisition has been quashed. It is almost like the Bhatta Parsaul case in Greater Noida where the court restored land to farmers. Here, the court restored land to the government,” another buyer said, requesting anonymity.

Landowners and villagers claim that of the total land bought from them, only 33 acre land has high-rise towers, and the rest continues to be undeveloped. However, they claim that these residential towers were built without building plan approvals, and the area does not have any civic amenities.

First Published: Mar 13, 2018 23:33 IST