Eight years after the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust (RGCT) was allotted land for an eye hospital in Gurgaon by the then Congress government of Bhupinder Singh Hooda, the Haryana Department of Town & Country Planning (DTCP) has rejected the occupation certificate granted to the Trust which has Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi as trustees. Highly placed sources told The Indian Express that the DTCP, while noting that the RGCT failed to construct on the land — it was to complete construction by January 7, 2012 — despite repeated extensions, described it a violation of the lease deed and rejected the occupation certificate on the land. The Development & Panchayats Department will now take further action to repossess the land. The land, measuring 19,477.70 sq m (approximately 4.8 acres) in Khasra No. 71 in the revenue estate of village Ullawas in Gurgaon, was allotted to the RGCT in 2009 when Hooda was the chief minister.
The Gram Panchayat of Ullawas, under permission from the Development & Panchayats Department, leased the land to the RGCT for construction of an eye hospital. The Indian Express has learnt that on May 25, the DTCP asked the Senior Town Planner in Gurgaon to “take further steps required in pursuance to the rejection of application and send action taken report to this office”. The DTCP also informed the Development & Panchayats Department about the rejection of the “occupation certificate” and asked it to initiate action. In a letter to the Principal Secretary, Development & Panchayats Department, the DTCP said lease of the land was granted by the Gram Panchayat of Ullawas with certain terms and conditions.
“One of the conditions was to put the leased land to the permitted use within two years from the commencement of lease period which stands expired on 07.01.2012 and applicant has failed to comply with it… it is requested to take further action as per terms and conditions of lease deed,” the letter stated. The lease deed was executed in favour of RGCT on January 8, 2010. Several extensions were granted to the Trust to start construction and complete the hospital.
This is the chain of events that led to grant of lease:
May 9, 2008: RGCT approaches Ullawas Gram panchayat, requests allotment of six acres for construction of a state-of-the-art 300-bed eye hospital.
The Trust said it will build a facility with a capacity to treat 3 lakh outpatients annually and perform 30,000 surgeries.
May 27, 2008: Ullawas Gram Panchayat passes a resolution allowing sale of land at market rate to RGCT.
Resolution is forwarded to Deputy Commissioner, Gurgaon. The DC rejects it, saying Gram Panchayat land cannot be alienated by way of gift or sale.
Moreover, land was already on lease for five years and the term was to expire on June 10, 2009.
June 2, 2009: Haryana government issues notification under Section 4 of Land Acquisition Act, intending to acquire 1,417 acres of land, which includes Ullawas panchayat’s land being sought by RGCT.
June 10, 2009: RGCT again approaches Gram Panchayat, this time requesting it to lease the land for a period of 33 years.
July 20, 2009: Panchayat passes a resolution to give the land on lease to RGCT.
July 31, 2009: DC, Gurgaon approves the proposal and recommends a lease amount of 5% of the collector rate — then Rs 60 lakh per acre.
That results in Rs 3 lakh per acre per annum lease rate for RGCT.
August 13, 2009: Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who also hold the Panchayats portfolio, advises Urban Estates Department to release land from acquisition proceedings.
August 21, 2009: Haryana cabinet approves DC’s proposal.
Cabinet modifies lease money from Rs 3 lakh per acre per annum to Rs 1,000 per acre per annum.
The same day, Panchayat department finalises terms and conditions and issues the order.
October, 2009: Congress returns to power in Haryana.
November, 2009: RGCT approaches Ullawas panchayat and requests lease of land on prevailing market rate of Rs 3 lakh per acre per annum. Panchayat agrees.
December 14, 2009: Haryana cabinet approves lease rate of Rs 3 lakh per acre per annum.
May 31, 2010: Government issues notification under Section 6 of Land Acquisition Act.
This notification too includes Ullawas panchayat land being sought by RGCT.
October 20, 2010: RGCT applies for Change of Land Use with DTCP.
December 1, 2010: Government approves CLU
December 6, 2010: Department of Urban Estates orders release of land leased to RGCT from acquisition proceedings.
May 6, 2011: Final CLU permission is issued.