Thursday, March 23, 2023

Calcutta HC disposes of PIL against unauthorized sale of plots acquired by state

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The Calcutta High Court has recently disposed of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against the sale of land acquired by the State under the Land Acquisition Act to third parties by some unauthorized persons.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj noted that the petitioner has already filed a detailed representation to the District Magistrate, North 24 Parganas raising the aforesaid grievance.

It is observed by the Court that each of the transaction which is disclosed by the petitioner is required to be examined on the basis of the official record relating to acquisition and alleged subsequent unauthorised sale. The said exercise can be done by the District Magistrate more appropriately.

After perusing the representation filed by the petitioner before the District Magistrate, the Bench noted that the full particulars disclosed in the PIL are not contained in the representation.

Therefore, the Court permitted the petitioner to submit a copy of the petition along with a fresh copy of the representation to the District Magistrate.

On receipt of the said representation, the District Magistrate will conduct an inquiry to ascertain the veracity of the allegation made by the petitioner and if it is found that any land acquired by the Government and belonging to the Government is being or has been illegally sold by the private parties without any right, then the District Magistrate will take appropriate action in accordance with law. The District Magistrate on conclusion of the aforesaid exercise will duly communicate to the petitioner the outcome thereof, the Court directed.

“Let this exercise be completed within a period of six months from the date of receipt of a fresh copy of representation along with the writ petition by the District Magistrate,” directed the High Court.

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