HC declines to stay e-auction of land at Kokapet

The plot layout at Kokapet.  

Telangana High Court on Wednesday declined to pass an order staying e-auction of land parcels, slotted to be held on Thursday at Kokapet and Khanammet on city outskirts by the government.

Giving consent to the government to proceed with the e-auction, a bench of Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy posted the PIL petition to Thursday for further hearing.

The plea was filed by former MP and BJP leader Vijayashanthi seeking to stay Government Order (GO) 13 issued on this June 10 proposing to sell land parcels at Kokapet and Khanammet to generate a revenue of nearly ₹50,000 crore.

Senior counsel Niranjan Reddy appearing for Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) informed the court that the impugned GO 13 was issued in continuation of GO 191 of 2015 pertaining to sale of government lands. Standard Operating Procedures for such sale of lands emanated from GO 191, he said.

The GO 191 was already challenged and a division bench of the HC had earlier upheld it stating that government had rights to adopt a policy to sell lands which were not useful to the public. The petitioner’s counsel T. Rajesh contended that while GO 191 aimed at creating a land bank of 1,000 acres in the present case, the government was intending to sell lands through e-auction.

The CJ sought to know why the government aimed at creating a land bank of 1,000 acres when it cannot protect its own lands located in prime locations. Advocate General B.S. Prasad said the State Cabinet had decided to mobilise resources by selling lands through e-auction. Even the Central government was taking similar decisions.

Both the State and the Central governments were vested with the power to do so, he argued.

The GO 191 states that government intended to sell vacant lands which were not useful to the public. Moreover, the government said its lands located in prime areas were prone to encroachment. “When government is apprehending that its own lands can be encroached upon, why is it creating a land bank?” the CJ sought to know. Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy wondered, “How the government can create land bank when it cannot protect its own lands”.

Replying to a query from the bench, the AG made it clear that there were no other such e-auction of lands in the near future.

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Printable version | Sep 27, 2021 3:28:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/hc-declines-to-stay-e-auction-of-land-at-kokapet/article35332757.ece

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