New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday quashed the 104.83 acre land acquired by Chandigarh administration under the garb of developing an Information Technology park in the city saying it was done to favour the private developers.
A bench of justices G S Singhvi and S J Mukhopadhaya held that the land was not acquired for "a bona fide public purpose and that in the garb of acquiring land for IT Park etc., the Administration wanted to favour the private developers".
The court passed the order on a bunch of appeal filed by land owner alleging mal-practice by the government in grabbing their land under the garb of developing Rajiv Gandhi IT park.
"Though, the ostensible object of transferring the land to the Chandigarh Housing Board was development of residential and other infrastructural facilities in the IT Park, the real purpose was to benefit the private developers," the bench said.
The court held that the adviser to the Administrator was not competent to accord approval to the initiation of the acquisition proceedings or take decision on the reports submitted by the Land Acquisition Officer and record his satisfaction that the land was needed for the specified public purpose.
The bench said several officers of the concerned department failed to discharge their duties in accordance with the law and LAO alone cannot be blamed for the illegality as he was only "minion in the hierarchy of the administration and could not have even thought of making recommendations contrary to what was contained in the letter sent by the Administrator".