By: Sanjeev Verma
The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday asked why there was “so much of haste” in the construction of a 100-foot-wide road leading to Metro Eco Green Resorts at Palanpur village in SAS Nagar district, owned by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and his wife, Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Juveeza Chadha, who had challenged the acquisition of her 7 Kanal and 19 Marla land for the road in Palanpur village.
“You will not touch the petitioner’s land till the next date of hearing (May 27),” a division bench comprising Justices AK Mittal and Rekha Mittal told the state government.
Speaking for the bench, Justice A K Mittal said, “Why so much of haste in the construction of road? How many roads have you constructed in Punjab in the past one year? Show me.”
As reported by The Indian Express on May 19, the road begins at Majra T-junction (Chandigarh-Kurali-Siswan T-junction) and leads to Palanpur in Kharar tehsil of SAS Nagar district, where Metro Eco Green Resorts is located.
As the bench started dictating its order to “maintain status quo on construction of road till May 27”, counsels appearing for Punjab government as well as Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) requested the court not to mention this in its order as they would clarify things on the next hearing.
However, the court said: “How will two days’ delay make a difference? There are a number of valuable objections (in the petition).”
Senior advocate Rajiv Atma Ram, appearing for the petitioner, argued: “Since the CM is involved, everything is in the air.”
He further averred: “It is a matter related to the Punjab Chief Minister. How can the Chief Minister head the meetings? I have all papers of shareholding of property (Metro Eco Green Resorts).”
The senior advocate added that under Section 15 of The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, a 60-day period has to be given for raising objections.
“But where are 60 days in this case,” he asked. He added that land can be acquired only after payment of compensation, whereas the petitioner was issued a cheque on April 18 but the land in question had been acquired on
The court was apprised that GMADA had itself stated in its reply that the gram panchayat of Majra village had moved the proposal on March 26, 2013, for provision of bypass road to decrease traffic congestion on the existing village road on the basis of which the Master Plan had been amended.
But the senior counsel added, “recommendation for amendment of the Master Plan had been moved in 2012.”
The high court has now given time to the counsels of Punjab government as well as the GMADA to clarify their stand by May 27.