‘NIT illegally regularised 8.34 acre Indora land’

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 13 Nov 2017 10:07:26


Staff Reporter,

The Amicus Curiae questions NIT’s decision in hastily regularising many land parcels on the eve of its merger with NMC

Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT), whose existence will come to an end by next month end, has once again come under the scanner after its decision to regularise a huge plot admeasuring 8.34 acre in Mouza Indora has been questioned before the High Court. Amicus Curiae Anand Parchure, in his note, has charged the NIT with regularising this illegal layout taking recourse to the Gunthewari Act, without permission of the High Court.

The Amicus Curiae had also questioned the action of NIT in releasing “approx. 1 lakh sq ft land at Sakkardara belonging to Kheta family acquired by NIT in favour of family on payment of Rs 52 per sq ft regularisation charges.”

The Amicus Curiae had already placed on record rampant misuse of the Gunthewari Act to delete reservation of a whopping 1.50 crore sq ft land including reservations meant for playgrounds, hospitals, gardens, maternity homes, cremation ground etc, and described it as another mind-boggling scam due to which Nagpur’s development was badly affected and DCR was reduced to a mere waste paper.

Adv Parchure was appointed as Amicus Curiae in a public interest litigation (PIL) based on 28-part series published by ‘The Hitavada’ in 2004 about bunglings in Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) which was submitted before the High Court by a vigilant citizen Anil Wadpalliwar. The series had badly exposed the murky affairs within NIT and how a powerful group of officers and then ruling party politicians gobbled prime plots, made mockery of development plan and were instrumental for haphazard development of Nagpur.

In his note he stated “field survey no 8, PH no 4 of Mouza Indora admeasuring 8.34 acre, originally belonged to one Bhagirathibai and was acquired under the Indora Housing Accommodation Scheme and plots laid thereon by the original owners were allotted to a particular community by the NIT officers without any authority of law.”
“On one hand decision to wind up the existing NIT is taken and on the other hand the decisions are also taken at NIT not only to regularise the layouts but to release the land as also the funds collected from the citizens of Nagpur,” charged the Amicus Curiae.

In fact the High Court had adopted a tough stance against the political big-wigs who bagged 325 public utility lands situated in prime city areas from NIT by tweaking rules, manipulating allotments and then brazenly exploiting it for commercial purpose, and had mooted a judicial probe to unearth this massive scandal exposed by ‘The Hitavada’ a decade ago.

Subsequently one-man in-house committee headed by then Additional Chief Secretary Navin Kumar turned out to be a damp squib and Amicus Curiae sought rejection of this report dubbing it as “mere eyewash” aimed at exonerating all wrong-doers and claimed that it ended up with recommending regularisation or irregularities and safeguarding the officers of Trust, while accepting in principle that irregularities occurred.

At least 85 allotments made to politically influential individuals were found to be in absolute breach of then existing Land Disposal Rules and were offered as largesse by a powerful coterie of NIT officers to please their political bosses.

The High Court had deplored the apathy shown by since NIT and State Government to act for last 13 years against those responsible for abuse and misuse of power and stressed the need to conduct an independent probe from a retired supreme court or high court judge.

The official note filed before the High Court also charged that assets and liabilities of NIT including all subsisting contracts are being transferred to NMC without any notification issued under Section 121 of the NIT Act.

“In absence of the notification under Section 121, the action of transferring the assets and liabilities as also the contracts, on the face of it, is illegal,” the Amicus Curiae claimed while describing the move to wind up NIT as “only a cabin decision which has not fructified in the form of notification.”