HYDERABAD: Making it clear that the state cannot auction a piece of land over which it has no title, the Telangana high court on Tuesday stayed the ensuing auction of a 11-acre plot at Puppalaguda village in Gandipet mandal of Rangareddy district.
TSIIC has prepared a schedule for the auction of 95 acres, including the 11-acre land parcel located in survey number 301, at Puppalaguda on September 28.
P Nanda Kumar of Lakshmi Engineering and Constructions Company had filed a petition challenging the inclusion of their 11-acre land in the auction.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice M S Ramachandra Rao and Justice T Vinod Kumar heard the plea and stayed the auction in respect of the plots that fall under survey number 301. State counsel Harender Pershad said the plots scheduled for auction fall within 302 and 303 survey numbers also. The bench wondered as to how a single plot in a village spreads across several survey numbers. “Do not rely on the jugglery of numbers. You are playing a mischievous game,” the bench warned the state counsel, while issuing notices to the state, industries department, TSIIC and HMDA.
Appearing for the petitioner, senior counsel Yamarthi Chandrasekhar informed the court that they had purchased the parcel of land in 2006 from the legal heirs of Navalmal Rizwani, a refugee who left his Sindh residence in Pakistan during the Partition and settled in Hyderabad.
The central government had brought in the Displaced Persons (Compensation & Rehabilitation) Act, 1954, to allot alternative properties to such people in lieu of the properties they had left behind at the time of leaving their previous place of residence.
The properties of those who left for Pakistan from Hyderabad at the time of the Partition were kept aside to compensate the incoming refugees. The Centre had created a compensation land pool for meeting the needs of refugees. After verifying the claim made by Rizwani, the Centre had through its regional settlement commissioner at Bombay (now Mumbai) and deputy custodian at Hyderabad allotted 41 acres of land in survey number 301 of Puppalaguda in Rangareddy district.
“The property we bought from the legal heirs of Rizwani was part of this land. The President had granted Sanad (an ordinance-like document conveying title) to Rizwani and it was also registered in August 1955. The state is now trying to transfer the title of our land to TSIIC in an illegal way,” Chandrasekhar said.
The bench questioned the state counsel as to how the state was proceeding further without any title in its favour. The regional settlement commissioner, representing the President under the Act, conveyed the title in this case. It appears prima facie state has no case. “How can a custodian of the land claim title over the land?” the bench asked. A Satyasiri, the advocate on record, pointed out that while the state has authorised TSIIC to auction 40 acres of land at Puppalaguda, it was now proposing to auction 95 acres, contrary to the state’s authorisation.
Expressing doubts over the statement of the state’s special counsel Harender Pershad that their land was in a different survey number, the bench said that the petitioner’s land in survey number 301 covers plots 25, 26, 28, 29 and 30 of the TSIIC auction notification. It stayed the auction of these plots and adjourned the case.