Two war veterans urge HC not to take back their lands

Two war veterans have moved the Bombay High Court seeking a direction to the Maharashtra government.

Mumbai: Two war veterans have moved the Bombay High Court seeking a direction to the Maharashtra government not to take back the land allotted to them near Pune under a 1973 scheme for soldiers of the Indian Army.

The Bombay High Court has asked Advocate General Darius Khambata to find out a solution to this problem as the two war veterans had not constructed the houses in the given time frame, as per the policy laid down by the state.

The matter would be heard on December 17 by justices S J Vajifdar and R Y Ganoo.

Hearing the matter on Tuesday, the judges asked the government to be a little accommodative to the war heroes who do not feel shy to lay down their lives for the country. Do not treat the war veterans like this, the judges observed on December 11.

Retired Colonel Anil Athalye and R Kirloskar were allotted separate plots of land at Vadgaon-Sheri, now included in Pune Municipal Corporation. The government had allotted the two war veterans plots in keeping with its 1973 policy, which allowed military men to construct houses on such land allotted to them within a specified time frame.

However, the petitioners claimed that they could not construct houses within the specified time frame as they were posted on the border and could not be at home to supervise the construction. Although twice the government had allowed them extension of time to construct houses, they could not complete the construction.

Athalye pleaded that in September 2009, he was given an ultimatum to finish construction of his house within two years but even before this period could expire, a local MLA wrote a letter to the district Collector suggesting that this land could be given for public utility of the village such as garden. Tehsildar then directed Athalye to stop construction on the land. Being aggrieved, he moved the High Court.

The petitioners pleaded that not enough time had been given to them to construct the houses and moreover most of the time they were posted on the border and hence could not finish the construction of their houses.

The High Court asked the state as to what would they do of the partly-constructed houses of the war heroes.


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