The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday stayed a June 8 order by Gurgaon’s District Town Planner (Enforcement) asking the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust (RGCT) to “immediately stop” construction on land leased to it for building an eye hospital. The prime plot of land was leased to the Trust, which has Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi as trustees, by the state’s Bhupinder Singh Hooda government eight years ago.
On Tuesday, a division bench comprising Justice Anita Chaudhary and Justice Harminder Singh Madaan issued notice to the Haryana government after the Trust moved the court seeking quashing of the June 8 order. It also sought directions to the authorities to consider RGCT’s application for an Occupation Certificate.
Describing the June 8 order as “illegal and arbitrary”, the Trust in a civil writ petition before the High Court said that the authorities have “deliberately ignored and overlooked the fact that the second application for occupation certificate was pending” before them and “the validity of the building plans was still in force”.
The Department of Town and Country Planning (DTCP) had earlier rejected the Trust’s application for Occupation Certificate and asked the Department of Development and Panchayats to take further steps required and also send an action taken report. DTCP had cited the Trust’s failure to construct a hospital in the stipulated time period given despite the Change of Land Use (CLU) permission given in 2011 and subsequent extensions granted to it.
In the June 8 order, the District Town Planner, Gurgaon said: “You had to complete the construction as well as had to procure the Occupation Certificate up to May 5, 2015 i.e within validity period of CLU permission. But it is regretted that neither the building nor you have procured occupation certificate within stipulated time frame. Further, it has also been brought to the notice of this office that you have not complied with the terms and conditions of the order of Department of Development and Panchayat, Haryana vide which the subject matter land was permitted to be leased out in your favour by Gram Panchayat, Ullawas, whereby as per condition number two you were under obligation to put the leased land to the permitted use within two years from the commencement of the leased period which stands expired on January 7, 2012.”
In its plea before the HC, the Trust, however, argued that the State Environmental Impact Assessment Authority gave its approval for the construction only in 2015 and it was left with only few months for the construction of the hospital of seven floors and 25,000 sq mt built up area.
The Trust had in 2009 approached Ullawas village for allocation of land for setting up a “state-of-the-art eye Hospital with a 200-bed super specialty eye care centre” and after the Panchayat’s consent, the land was leased out to trust during the tenure of Congress government for a period of 33 years.