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Rajasthan HC disposes of PIL against setting up of hotel on farm land in Pali village

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The Rajasthan High Court has recently disposed of a PIL on the legality of land use and the construction put up by a private company on in village Pali.

The PIL, filed by one Mahaveer Raj Kothari, alleged the said respondent has utilized agricultural land for non-agricultural purpose, has put up construction of hotel without permission and also rented out the open plot for marriage reception and such other occasions for which no license has been obtained from the authorities.

The case of the private company is that as part of the tourism policy of the State Government, the said respondent has decided to set up a hotel and for which purpose, the land was used. The land use conversion was authorized by the authorities after which the construction was put up.

It is stated that such construction was not after passing the plan. Nevertheless, application for regularization has been made. More than Rs 12 lakh was deposited in advance with the authorities for such regularization. It is also stated that the open ground and garden will not be used for hosting marriage reception unless license is granted by the concerned authorities.

The counsel for the private company further argued that the petitioner out of malice targeted this single property though there are numerous other establishments in the vicinity carrying out similar business. It is pointed out that the construction exists since 2014 and the PIL has been filed nearly six years later.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice Akil Kureshi and Justice Rameshwar Vyas did not go to minutely scrutinize every smallest detail of permissions and licenses to be issued by the authorities.

Broadly what appears to the Court is that official respondents have regularized the change of use of land. The construction may have been put up without full permission.

Nevertheless, the same is existing since 2014 and the application for regularization has been made. Till such application is decided, it would be futile to remove the construction.

If the construction is something which can be regularized, the High Court would not required it to be demolished so that after permission it can be re-constructed.

With respect to question of renting such property for marriage reception, the Bench recorded the statement of counsel for the private company that till license is issued by the competent authorities, the same will not be used for such purpose.

“While therefore, closing the public interest litigation, we leave it to the authorities to examine if the land use and the construction are opposed to any mandatory restrictions of the building rules and regulations. If found, it would be open for the official respondents to take action in accordance with law. With these observations, petition is disposed of,” the order reads.

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