Illegal purchase of government land: SC to hear Maharashtra MLC’s plea against Bombay HC order

The Supreme Court Thursday agreed to hear on June 14 a plea of Maharashtra MLC Dhananjay Munde against the Bombay High Court order directing registration of a case against him in an alleged illegal purchase of government land case.

A vacation bench of justices Indira Banerjee and Ajay Rastogi said it will hear the plea on Friday in which the NCP leader has sought stay of the high court order which directed police to file a case against him for allegedly purchasing a land at Pus village in Ambajogai tehsil of Beed district.

The high court’s order was passed on Tuesday by a division bench on a plea filed by one Rajabhau Phad, who alleged that the land which belonged to the government was purchased and given to the Belkhandi Math in Beed as gift.

As per the law, the land cannot be transferred without the government’s permission, the initial petition had said.

Heirs of Ranit Wyanka Giri, the mahant of the Belkhandi Math when the land was given as a gift, transferred it in their names and claimed that they were its owners and the government was not informed about it.

The land was then later bought by Munde on the basis of a general power of attorney in 2012. Munde applied for non-agricultural status (NA) of the land and got it, the petition had alleged.

Phad had approached the Bardapur police station in Beed seeking a criminal case to be lodged against Munde, his wife and others.

However, when the police failed to initiate a probe, Phad approached the high court claiming that the land originally belonged to the government and hence, cannot be sold to anyone.

He had sought an FIR be lodged under IPC Sections 420 (cheating), 467, 468 and 471 (forgery) against Munde, his wife and 15 others.

Munde’s lawyer Siddheshwar Thombre had said there was a dispute between the then Math mahant and priest of the trust on this land.

He had said the matter was taken to court and on the basis of decree, another person became the owner of the land, adding that in 2012, Munde bought the land from that person by adhering to all legal procedures.

It was not mentioned anywhere that the land belonged to the government, Munde’s lawyer had said while asserting that the entire process was legal.

The high court’s Aurangabad bench, however, had said prima facie it appears the government land was usurped and hence, directed the Bardapur police to file a case against Munde and others and probe the allegations.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

First Published:
Jun 13, 2019 13:54 IST

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