Hyderabad: A fresh impediment has come up for the proposed auction of land at Kokapet by the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority. It was expected that the auction of the land would raise about `1.200 which the government would use to pay for infrastructure projects.
Waiting for funds from the sale of Kokapet land are the Palamuru-Ranga Reddy lift irrigation scheme (PRLIS) in Mahbubnagar district, as stated by Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao in August, and city infrastructure projects.
The latest hurdle is in the form of two petitions filed in the High Court by private persons claiming ownership of the land. Interestingly, the government secured control of the land after years of litigation.
The state government had transferred the land parcel to the HMDA in 2006 and gave it permission to auction it and raise funds, Initially, 168 acres were put up for auction which fetched Rs 1,775 crore.
Afterwards, a few individuals challenged the ownership. A division bench of the High Court ruled in favour of the HMDA. This order was challenged in the Supreme Court. In 2017, the HMDA secured a verdict in its favour.
Just as the HMDA was getting set to auction the land, some persons filed writ petitions (WP No 222431 of 2019 and WP 22499) in the High Court challenging the alleged “arbitrary and illegal action” of the HMDA in auctioning the land.
The petitioners claimed that HMDA was illegally attempting to auction the land in Survey No. 239 and 240 of Kokapet village. In the petitions, the petitioners stated they are lawful owners of 151 acres and 35 guntas in the same survey numbers.
The petitioners claimed that they were the absolute owners and possessors of the land for more than 50 years and had purchased it vide registered sale deeds bearing numbers 756, 872, 873, 927, 929, 953, 1920 and 1922 of 1967.
The petitioners also claimed that government records like the muntakab and gazette notification of 1950 and 1955 show the land parcels as private.
The writs came up for hearing on October 15 and after arguments by counsel for the petitioner and standing counsel of the HMDA, the court passed an interim order directing both parties to maintain status quo.
A senior HMDA official on condition of anonymity told Deccan Chronicle that the petitioner had filed three petitions and the High Court did not admit one of them.
He said that the HMDA had presented eight judgments given by the Supreme Court.
The official did not disclose details of the two petitions and said they had no legal grounds.
Meanwhile, the HMDA has decided to mop `5,000 crore by auctioning about 200 acres of land in Kokapet....