HC Hearing: IMG Bharata Argues Against Withdrawal of 850 Acre Land

Hyderabad: IMG Academies Bharata Pvt Ltd on Wednesday informed the Telangana High Court that it had paid the entire consideration for 850 acres land in Gachibowli to the state government after it was allocated land in 2003.

In 2003, the then Telugu Desam government offered to sell the said land for Rs 4.25 crore to the company, whose share capital was Rs 5 lakh, and was incorporated less than six months back. After the election, the new government withdrew land allotment in 2006, forcing one of the company’s shareholders Billy Rao to challenge the decision in the High Court.

Arguing on behalf of the company before the division bench of the Telangana High Court, senior counsel Vedula Venkataramana, the withdrawal of the land allotment, after the payment of consideration, is a violation of the Constitution.

The senior counsel submitted that the land was allotted to the company to develop the world-class sport complexes, which help the AP government to train sport enthusiasts to bag medals at prestigious sporting events like Olympics among others. But the new government arbitrarily issued an ordinance to take back the land and later issued executive orders for the same. The Telangana government later decided to continue the decision.

The senior counsel could not complete arguments due to the paucity of time and the court adjourned the arguments to Thursday.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) reached between the then government of united AP and IMGB binds the government to sell five acres of land along the road leading from Banjara Hills to Cyber Towers at "reasonable rates" to enable IMGB to build its "international-class headquarters". It has also granted IMGB the right to buy these properties by factoring in costs, which decrease with the passage of time. Further, the then government offered to lease seven stadia, built by the government at a cost of Rs 116.4 crore, to IMGB for 45 years.

The MoU imposes many responsibilities on the AP government, such as compensating costs incurred by IMGB for city promotion up to Rs 2.3 crore a year for five years. The guarantee to pay for the training of 50 people at a fee of 25 per cent less than the prescribed charges.

The state government was also expected to persuade the Centre to waive customs and all other duties and taxes on all equipment that IMGB may import and extend all concessions and incentives provided by the state government to the educational institutions.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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