The stakeholders of Varsha Flats who moved the Gujarat High Court (HC) in September against a Special Secretary Revenue Department (SSRD) order that impleaded two third party persons were granted relief on Monday when the HC stayed the SSRD order.
Advocate Saquib Ansari, appearing for the Varsha Flat stakeholders, said, “The matter has been kept for final hearing and the HC ordered a stay on the SSRD’s order impleading the two, as well as on SSRD proceedings under section 4 and 5 of the Disturbed Areas Act. The court prima facie considered our arguments that the third party has no locus standi if transfer is on fair price and free consent, and only the transferor or the transferee can prefer an appeal against rejection of their application seeking transfer of property.”
Jigar Upadhyay and Apoorva Shastri, from the Hindu Jagran Manch, claimed to be affected persons living in the “vicinity of the disputed properties” of Jankalyan Cooperative Housing — popularly known as Varsha Flats — in Paldi and sought that they be impleaded as “third parties” in the appeals being heard by the SSRD, against the decision of the west zone Deputy Collector to not regularise the sale of flats despite consent and fair price.
This was on the alleged ground of violation of provisions of the Gujarat Prohibition of Transfer of Immovable Property and Provisions for Protection of Tenants from Eviction in Disturbed Areas Act, 1991, also known as the Disturbed Areas Act.
The SSRD impleaded the two in the appeals and also observed that the Hindu Jagran Manch had received objections from residents in 50 neighbouring societies of Varsha Flats, objecting to the transfer of properties to Muslims.
The SSRD also noted that the Upadhyay and Shastri were parties in petitions before the HC as well. The SSRD reasoned the impleading of the two to the fact that the decision of the appeals will “affect them directly” and therefore, the two will be considered as “affected persons”.
SSRD, in its order, also stated that they considered impleading the two as necessary in the interest of justice, as they would give the “true picture of the facts”. The two were impleaded by SSRD Vinay Vyasa in an order dated August 27.
Deputy Collector of Ahmedabad (West) on December 27, 2018, cancelled 13 registered sale deeds of property owners of Varsha Flats, minus the issuance of notice to either the tranferers or the transferees, purportedly under the provisions of the Disturbed Areas Act.
On February 6, the SSRD, directed the Deputy Collector’s order declaring the sale of properties as null and void be stayed. However, following the SSRD’s order impleading Upadhyay and Shastri, the matter was expected to be heard further, with respect to the two’s arguments. The HC, in an order dated September 9, however, allowed the aggrieved stakeholders of Varsha Flats to make an application before the SSRD for adjournment and the SSRD to consider the same.