DLF moves SC against land allotment cancellation

Written by Indu Bhan | Indu Bhan | New Delhi | Updated: Oct 8 2014, 07:37am hrs
Real estate major DLF has moved the Supreme Court challenging the Punjab and Haryana High Court order that cancelled the allotment of 350 acres of prime land by the Haryana government to the realty bigwig for developing golf villas and a golf course in Gurgaon.

DLF was developing AC apartments/villas and an 18-hole golf course on the land under the project 'The Magnolias'. A bench headed by Chief Justice HL Dattu will hear the matter on Wednesday.

The HC order had come on a PIL filed by one Om Prakash Mukdam and other residents of Wazirabad village in Gurgaon alleging that the acquisition of gram panchayat land by the Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation and allotment to DLF for the purported public purpose of development of recreational and leisure projects was colorable exercise of power.

Stating that this amounted to fraud on the public, the PIL before the HC had alleged that the land acquisition was done at the behest of DLF, thus jeopardising the interest of general public and inhabitants of Wazirabad village.

However, DLF in its appeal refuted such claims by stating that the bidding process was transparent and R1,700 crore was a good price for the land transferred. The tendering and bidding process itself having been a wholly transparent one and the decision taken by the government to invite private participation also being in tune with the character of the city of Gurgaon, there was no ground to accuse the government of any kind of arbitrariness in transferring the project land, DLF stated.

The realty major further said the land had been put to proper use towards a public purpose, which would be served both by receipt of the high bid price and continued revenue receipts to the government by way of taxes etc. from such a luxury project, as also by promoting the region as an area which had all the high end infrastructure needed to invite investment from within India and outside.

The PIL had even questioned the process of allotment to DLF from state agencies. The land was allotted through a bid in which for all practical purposes DLF was the only qualified bidder because the other two bidders were disqualified on account of 'technical error,' it said.

The petition submitted before the HC that HUDA acquired around 350-acre in Wazirabad village on two occasions for 'public purposes'.

First 75 acre was acquired through a notification of September 8, 1997, and then around 275 acre was acquired through a notification of August 8, 2003. Subsequently, the land was transferred by HUDA to HSIIDC, which on February 9, 2010, transferred it to DLF on freehold basis.