Justice C.V.Nagarjuna Reddy of the High Court on Thursday imposed costs of Rs. 25,000 on the AP Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC) for allotting open land earmarked for a park for industrial purposes, in the Industrial Estate at Anantapur, to favour a party.

The Chief Secretary was directed to order an inquiry by the Vigilance Commissioner.

The judge was allowing a writ petition filed by G. Umamahewar Reddy, who complained that the APIIC had rejected his application for two acres of land 13 years ago saying that it was meant for open space for a park but the same corporation clandestinely gave the land to a hird party without calling for tenders.

The judge called for records and found that the open space was, in fact, allotted to a favoured entity M/s. Techno Industrial Engineering, Material Testing, and Designing-cum-Servicing Centre though this plot of land continues to be reserved for the park.

The judge declared that “this court has no hesitation to hold that the corporation has failed to act in a fair and transparent manner in dealing with public property. It is truly baffling to note that the corporation, which is the custodian of public property, acted in such a highly arbitrary and whimsical manner by allotting the land, which is earmarked for open space, to respondent no.3 and denying the applications of the petitioner and others on the ground that it is not available for such allotment.”

The judge imposed costs of Rs. 25,000 and directed it to be recovered from officers responsible for the matter. The judge minced no words when he said that

“This case, in my opinion, is a classic example of abuse of its power by the officials of the corporation. In public interest, it is necessary to identify the person responsible for this patent illegality, I am, therefore, of the opinion that a thorough investigation requires to be made in this regard.”