THE PUNJAB and Haryana High Court Thursday allowed a firm in Faridabad to convert a commercially unviable community hall into a factory at the DLF industrial area and warned senior officers of action in case the formalities for change of land use and conversion of building certificate are not completed within a period of four months.
A division bench of Justices Jaswant Singh and Sant Prakash said in case the order is not ied with, then the Faridabad municipal corporation commissioner or the director, Urban Local Bodies, Haryana will be personally liable for the loss of the business to the firm in terms of damages towards the non-functioning of the factory.
“…and also liable for the loss of revenue to the state/ municipal corporation, apart from being liable to be hauled up for the contempt of the court,” the order reads.
The community hall was sanctioned for the industrial area in 1973. It was in 2006 that the one acre of land was purchased by Krishna Industries and the property continued to be used as a community hall till 2008 but with little income. The firm was given no objection for use of the plot as an industrial unit in 2012 and 2017 by the DLF Industries Association. Following the revised building plans and construction, the occupation certificate was granted to the firm by senior town planner in 2014. A unit also started functioning from the area with all requisite permissions. However, certain permissions were later withdrawn and also the application for change of land use was declined by the civic body in 2017. The firm was also put to notice regarding the illegal construction and was directed not to use the plot for any other purposes other than community centre.
Observing that the authorities under the Haryana MC Act 1994 cannot pick and choose the power and exercise it in parts “holding that they have the power to proceed for misuse in a transferred licensed colony but do not have the power to grant change of land use” under the same law”, the court said there were all permissions in place to even run the plot in question as a factory under the Factories Act 1948, generating employment for almost a thousand persons, adding to the economy of the state and the ‘consent to operate’ issued by the Haryana Pollution Control Board.
“It is a classic example where the power to exempt was required to be exercised by considering the unfortunate situation of petitioner,” the court said.
It added, “Although, it is an admitted position that the site plan was wrongly approved, however, we are required to balance the equities, as on the basis of NOC, occupation certificate, and other no-objections issued by various department, an industry was set up by petitioner, which was running until passing of the impugned orders”.
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