A SEPTEMBER 2014 order passed by then Financial Commissioner (Revenue), YS Malik, while deciding the petitions filed by a few prospective beneficiaries of prime chunk of Gwal Pahari land in Gurugram has put the Manohar Lal Khattar-led Haryana government in a bind. Malik is currently posted as chairman of NHAI. As additional chief secretary (industries) in Haryana in July 2014, Malik had called an urgent meeting of senior officials to discuss a representation filed by one of the prospective beneficiaries. Malik got charge of FC(R) in August, acted on a representation filed by the same developers and then decided in their favour in September, three days before he relinquished charge of FC(R).
What else is making news:
The urban local bodies department has now requested the state government to clarify if Malik was competent to decide the case regarding the disputed mutation. On February 28, urban local bodies wrote to the state government and sought a clarification. Referring to the disputed mutation of Gwal Pahari land, the Director, Urban Local Bodies, wrote, “It is requested to please clarify whether the Financial Commissioner (Revenue) was competent to decide cases under the Punjab Land Revenue Act for district Gurgaon during August and September, 2014, as per work distribution order of Chief Secretary/ First Financial Commissioner under the Haryana Financial Commissioner (Distribution of Business) Rules, 1975.”
The Director further wrote, “The reply may be sent immediately so that Municipal Corporation, Gurugram, may avail of appropriate remedy against the order dated 15.09.2014 of Mr YS Malik and review order dated 21.10.2015 of Mr SS Dhillon in the dispute mutation No. 3110 of Gwal Pahari, Tehsil Sohna, District Gurugram.” Documents accessed by The Indian Express revealed that during his posting as Additional Chief Secretary (Industries & Commerce) on July 4, 2014, Malik had ordered to convene a meeting of senior officers on the issue of disputed mutation pertaining to the case of a private developer M/s Metro Valley Business Park Pvt Ltd, one of the prime beneficiaries of a total chunk of 464-acres of Gwal Pahari land.
On August 1, 2014, Malik was posted as financial commissioner (revenue). Malik received petitions from the same developer and two other private developers on August 21, 2014, praying for cancelling mutation No. 3110 dated July 2, 2012, sanctioned by the Assistant Collector 2nd grade in favour of Municipal Corporation, Gurugram. He sought MCG’s reply. Finally, he received it on September 15 and the same day decided the case against MCG by cancelling the mutation via his 41-page order. He relinquished the charge of FCR on September 18, 2014.
Against Malik’s order, MCG appealed in the court of Surina Rajan, who was designated as FC (Gurugram) during that period to decide its revenue-related matters. Rajan ordered a stay on Malik’s orders on October 16, 2014, and directed that “the revenue record existing in the name of MCG should not be altered and if done so, previous entries in the name of MCG should be restored”. In August 2015, SS Dhillon, another senior IAS officer, was designated to look into MCG’s review applications by the chief secretary. On October 21, 2015, Dhillon upheld Malik’s orders.
However, in December 2015, on the intervention of CM Manohar Lal Khattar, a fresh mutation, No. 3249, was entered in revenue records and sanctioned in the name of MCG. It was this mutation that the then District Collector, Gurugram, TL Satyaprakash, held as void ab initio vide his order dated January 2, 2017, as first reported by The Indian Express. Satyaprakash’s orders were stayed by D Suresh, the incumbent DC, Gurugram. Malik, however, defended his order. “I had passed a quasi-judicial order, which can be challenged, including the jurisdiction. If somebody is aggrieved by it, let them challenge it in a competent court of law. I don’t say that whatever I say is the gospel truth. Somebody else who is more competent, can hold, uphold, disturb, reverse [the order] – there is a higher court. Let that be settled by the competent court,” he said.