New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Thursday sought response of AAP government on a PIL seeking quashing of its notification enhancing circle rate for acquiring agricultural land in the city by three times.
A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath directed Arvind Kejriwal government to file an affidavit within two weeks on the issue raised in the petition.
The court said that it needs to examine whether Lieutenant Governor (LG) has to sign any notification issued in his name or not.
"If you (AAP govt) say that under the Transaction of Business Rules, LG's signature is not necessary while issuing any notification in his name, then you put the same on an affidavit," it said.
The court has now listed the matter for further hearing on September 23.
However, the bench was informed through senior advocate Dayan Krishnan, appearing for Delhi government, that as per Transaction of Business Rules, the notification had to be issued in the name of LG and the same has been complied with.
Krishnan also said that the terms of the notification were informed to the LG and endorsed by the Home Ministry.
The fresh plea was moved before the high court by a city Congress leader Naresh Kumar, seeking direction to the Delhi government to fix uniform rates for agricultural land throughout the capital instead of fixing different rates for different areas of the city so as to protect the right of equality of all farmers.
The plea said the notification of August 4, issued by the city government, enhanced the circle rates in a discriminatory manner and it should be declared as "null and void".
"The decision to fix different rates for the agricultural land to be acquired by the government is without any logic and justification," the plea said.
It said the government had no competence to issue such notifications and it was the LG who is the competent authority to take decision and he has not approved the same.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government has fixed the new rates in the range of Rs 1 crore to Rs 3.5 crore per acre from the earlier Rs 53 lakh per acre.
The High Court had earlier dismissed a similar plea saying "no case is made out" as the notification was issued in the name of the LG.
The plea filed on August 11 by a property dealer had sought quashing of the notification which has run into trouble after LG Najeeb Jung directed the Arvind Kejriwal government on August 10 to maintain status quo till the issue was examined legally.