NIT seeks recall of High Court order directing probe by Ex-judge Gilani

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 19 Dec 2017 10:28:17


Staff Reporter,

After Ex-Judge of the High Court Justice M N Gilani started his probe into irregular allotment of 85 public utility lands following High Court order on December 6, the Nagpur Improvement Trust has taken a surprising decision to question the very order passed by High Court.

After the order was passed, Justice Gilani started his probe from last Saturday and after initially co-operating with the probe and briefing Justice Gilani about factual matrix, NIT has decided to challenge the very basis of order naming ex-judge to probe its affair.

The High Court had asked Justice (Retd) Gilani to complete the probe into allotment of PU plots as well as eight points probed by Navin Kumar committee within six months. The report was never under dispute, and only its implementation was subject matter of dispute, the NIT claimed while insisting that it implemented the report in right earnest.

This is a major development in this PIL based on 28-part series published by The Hitavada in 2004 about bunglings in NIT. 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. The news-series had rocked the NIT and it was submitted to High Court by a vigilant citizen Anil Wadpalliwar and was treated as PIL and leading lawyer Adv Anand Parchure was named as Amicus Curiae.

NIT moved an application before Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court with a request to recall its order describing it as “an error apparent on the face of record.”
The NIT application has particularly charged Amicus Curiae Anand Parchure with misleading the court and telling only the half truths. The NIT application also reproduced an old order claiming that report of one-man committee headed by Navin Kumar was accepted by the Amicus and even the High Court and further proceedings including finalisation of Land Disposal Rules revealed that nobody disputed this position for six long years, the NIT claimed while wondering as to why Amicus was adopting different stance after lapse of such a long gap.

NIT claimed that the High Court on 29-09-2010 had passed an order which recorded a statement by Amicus Curiae that “he does not seek to have the report of the state government dated 31-08-2005 set aside but he seeks implementation of the said report.” This order was never modified or challenged before the Supreme Court and hence had attained finality, the NIT claimed while opposing the latest order seeking to re-open the entire PU land allotment controversy and other issues dealt by Navin Kumar committee.

Three years later the High Court sought details of the steps taken for implementation of Navin Kumar report and NIT claimed that it filed an affidavit spelling out details. After the Land Disposal Rules were finalised the NIT started regularising the irregularities found in 85 PU plot allotments as per Navin Kumar panel report and claimed that Amicus Curiae made an incorrect statement that Land Disposal Rules were amended ignoring the pendency of present PIL.

Praising Navin Kumar committee report for probing eight points and also other grievances raised by general public and described the last two orders dated October 4 and December 6, 2017 were passed due to “an error apparent on the face of record” the NIT has urged the High Court to recall its order appointing ex-HC judge to conduct a fresh probe into a concluded enquiry.

Responding to a latest note filed by Amicus Curiae seeking to add more instances of irregularities to be probed by ex-HC judge, the NIT claimed that the petitioner can not enlarge the scope of PIL pending since 2004 and make a somersault. The NIT also rejected all allegations of hastily regularising large tracts of land at Sakkardara and Indora under Gunthewari Act. About the decision taken by State Government to dissolve the NIT, the trust annexed minutes of the cabinet which are already placed on record and refrained from granting further answer.