Legal Correspondent

Case pertains to land allotments made at Salt Lake City

Discretionary quota was created by an `illegal executive order' Sites earmarked for civic amenities allegedly allotted to undeserving persons

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday issued notices to the West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, his predecessor, Jyoti Basu, and six others on a petition seeking cancellation of all the land allotments made at Salt Lake City, Kolkata.

A Bench comprising Justice Ruma Pal and Justice A. R. Lakshmanan issued notice to the respondents who included the State Finance Minister Asim Kumar Dasgupta, Urban Development Minister Ashok Bhattacharya and the Salt Lake City Municipality chairman on the petition filed by Joydeep Mukherjee.

The petitioner has alleged that a discretionary quota was created by an illegal executive order and sites earmarked for civic amenities such as parks, community centres and hospitals were allotted arbitrarily to undeserving persons. He said since the creation of special discretionary quota of 25 per cent for VIP and five per cent for VVIP to be exercised by the Chief Minister and/or the Minister in-charge of the department concerned, allotments were made to persons who were ineligible.

He alleged that persons of various categories having lands and building within Greater Kolkata had been allotted plots either by misrepresentation or by suppression of material facts. He contended that the creation of discretionary quota during the tenure of Mr. Basu was arbitrary and illegal. He said the Chief Minister or any of the Ministers could not distribute lands at a subsidised rate at their whims on the basis of unfettered discretion.

He sought a direction to set up a committee to scrutinise the cases of discretionary allotments; to quash the same and to impose exemplary damages.