Legal Correspondent

HYDERABAD: The seven Government Orders issued in March 2008 allotting land to housing societies of MLAs , MPs, IAS ,IPS , IRS officers and journalists were quashed by a Division Bench of the High Court on Tuesday.

The Bench comprising Justice Nooty Ramamohana Rao and Justice C.V. Nagarjuna Reddy specially assembled on Tuesday, though it is vacation, to pronounce the judgment.

It may be recalled when allotment of house sites given to some selected persons in Hyderabad through GO 522 was challenged, a Bench held that only cooperative societies could be allotted land. It also ruled that persons already in possession of house either in their name or in the name of spouse and children should not be given the benefit. After that judgment the government issued eight GO s in March 2008 allotting land to various cooperative housing societies. The allotments were challenged by Dr Rao V.B.J.Chelikani and Pattana Nivasula Hakkula Sadhana Samiti. Other writ petitions were filed challenging the same GO s and the policy laid down for the allotment of land to co- operative housing societies. The Bench had admitted the writ petition and granted interim stay in April 2008. After that the respondent societies filed counter affidavits and the case was argued at length. Meanwhile, the High Court Judges Mutually Aided Cooperative Housing Society Limited withdrew its request for the land. The Bench speaking through Justice C.V. Nagarjuna Reddy found fault with the government in not following the earlier judgment and quashed the seven GOs. The Bench ruled that the land allotted to the societies would stand restored to the government. The Bench also said that in future if the government wanted to allot land to societies, it should call for details of members who satisfy the eligibility criteria for allotment of house sites and duly supported by affidavits by every member. In case of a false declaration, the allotment would not only be liable for cancellation but also attract civil and criminal action.