Chennai: The Madras High Court rejected petition filed by Vellore Institute of Technology, (Deemed University), seeking assignment of 41.92 acres at Katpadi village, Vellore district.
Disposed of the petition from VIT, Justice SM Subramaniam said “The writ petitioner is a private institution. The writ petitioner had already been assigned with a land by the State Government to an extent of 98.80 acres from and out of the said assignment of the land. The writ petitioners are making profits by running the institution. The correctness or otherwise is also to be verified in this regard. It is a private body. The Government rejected the claim of the VIT for further assignment of 41.92 acres in its favour on the ground that the VIT being a profit making institution can purchase patta lands for the development of their institution.
While justifying the rejection order passed by the Revenue Secretary of State Government, the judge said “Assignment of lands are to be granted strictly in accordance with the principles of necessity and in the interest of public. Even the state cannot have any powers to assign the land at their whims and fancies. The Citizens are the owners in respect of the State poramboke lands and “we the people of India”, is empowered to utilize all such public lands for the interest of public at large and for the implementation of the welfare schemes to be implemented by the State.”
A private institution can never be claimed as a matter of legal right with regard to assignment of Government poramboke land to it.
The jduge said “normally such assignments and allotments of lands are provided to the poor landless people by implementing various schemes by the Government. However, the trend of allotting such huge extent of land in favour of certain private persons are being developed which all are mostly on extraneous considerations and more specifically, on favoritism and nepotism. Such a decision taken by the State can never be construed in consonance with the principles of the Constitution.
The judge said “by assigning or allotting of such Government poramboke lands in favour of few private individuals, undoubtedly infringes the rights of all other citizens. When the Constitutional rights of all other citizens are being infringed, this Court is of an undoubted opinion that, the State has no power under the Constitution to cause infringement of the rights of the citizens.”
While rejecting the prayer for a direction to the State Revenue Department for the assignment of the land, the judge directed the authorities to protect the Government poramboke land in question, if necessary, by fencing the same and accordingly, implement the public welfare scheme as approved, by constructing multipurpose sports stadium through the 3rd respondent without any undue delay.