HYDERABAD: After a 16-year protracted battle between the government and private parties, the Telangana High Court recently upheld the Special Court (Land Grabbing Cases) ruling that the land measuring 2,257 square yards at Phool Bagh of Nampally mandal in Hyderabad, which was given to the Central Revenue Department, belongs to the government.
In 2005, the Special Court, while hearing an application by the tahsildar of Nampally mandal, ruled that the land belonged to the government and private parties Y. Amrutbhai and family members of Late Y. Balaiah, who had been in possession since 1949 as land grabbers. The special court also ordered them to vacate the land and pay `96,000 in compensation to the government. In 2006, the private parties approached the High Court to challenge the Special Court orders.
The private parties claimed in their petition that the said land was a gift from relatives of Raja Rameshwar Rao of Wanaparthy, and that they had been living on the scheduled land for several decades. To establish their possession of the property, they produced demand notices and receipts demonstrating proof of payment of NALA tax, property tax, electricity charges, income tax, commercial tax, entry in electoral rolls, bank account statements, and so on.
The state government, on the other hand, claimed ownership based on entries in the Town Survey Land Register (TSLR). Harinder Pershad, Special Counsel for the state, argued before the High Court that Raja Rameshwar Rao himself was unsuccessful in court in 1952 in obtaining rights to the aforementioned lands at Phool Bagh. Furthermore, he claimed that the Land Survey was completed in 1982, and the land was designated as Government PWD and ‘Safayee balda’.
Furthermore, Harinder argued that private parties cannot claim the property without any documentary proof of obtaining the said land, only with tax payment receipts....