Temple trust alleges illegal sale of land to Rane's wife



Mumbai: A temple trust situated in Mahabaleshwar has filed a petition in the Bombay High Court alleging that a piece of land belonging to it was illegally sold to Nilima Rane, wife of Maharashtra Revenue Minister Narayan Rane.

The division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Dhananjay Chandchud today deferred the hearing beyond Diwali vacation, but directed that no development should be carried out on the land in the meanwhile.

'Shri-Kshetra Mahabaleshwar Devasthan Trust', the petitioner, manages several temple properties in and around Mahabaleshwar, a popular hill station in western Maharashtra. Petition claims that the land in question – survey number 109 -- was "Inam Land" (land granted to temple by local ruler), and was in trust's possession from the days of King Shivaji.

However, last year, the trust came to know that in the 'record of rights', a mutation entry was effected on June 9 2008, showing that this land, admeasuring around two acre, was now in the name of one Mahesh B Panchal, resident of Vasai near Mumbai. Further, the entry showed that out of this, half an acre land (18 R) had been sold by Panchal to Nilima Rane.

According to advocate Nitin Jamdar, petitioner's lawyer, the change in the land record came about without any notice to the Trust.

PTI