The Bombay HC Tuesday sought to know from the Maharashtra government if the manufacturing of salt has ceased at Kanjurmarg – a salt pan in Mumbai – whether the land will go to the state.
While the state government had transferred 102 acre in Kanjurmarg to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Develop-ment Authority (MMRDA) for a Metro car shed project, the Centre had opposed it on the ground that all salt pans belonged to it.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni was hearing the state’s response to Centre’s writ plea, filed through its deputy salt commissioner, which also challenged a November 2018 order of the Maharashtra revenue minister that declared that while the state was the owner of most salt pans in Mumbai, some were privately owned.
The state, through the Mumbai suburban collector, had passed an order transferring the Kanjurmarg salt pan land on October 1 and handing over its possession to MMRDA on October 6. Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, representing the Union government, said Tuesday that the collector’s October 1 order does not reveal how the state was in possession of the land and so, it was a fit case to grant interim relief of staying operation of the order.
Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni, appearing for the Maharashtra government, said that Kanjurmarg was not part of the 22 salt pan lands, for which an inquiry was ordered by the state revenue department.
To this, the bench asked the state, “If manufacture of salt has ceased, then the land goes to the state government? How is the order notified?” It told Kumbhakoni to respond to the same during the next hearing on Friday.
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