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Verification of land ownership now must before Department of Town and Country Planning's licence

Postby s1joshi » Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:57 pm ... 667091.cms?

GURGAON: Following the procedural irregularity in giving licence to a builder, the Department of Town and Country Planning (DTCP), in a recent order, has asked its officials to obtain land ownership certificates only through official channels.

Anurag Rastogi, director general, DTCP, has issued the internal office order after a legal case being heard in Punjab and Haryana High Court against the builder for fudging the land ownership records for a commercial housing project in Sector 65. TOI has a copy of the order, which has been circulated to all STPs.

According to the DTCP officials, a builder was issued licence in 2007 and in the application of builders for the licence, Gurgaon Tehsildar had stated that the builders/companies are owners and in possession of the land, whereas the land, measuring 5.025 acre out of 7.15 acre applied for licence, was already in the name of some other companies.

Without crosschecking the land records, the DTCP had not only granted the licence to the builder but further renewed it till January 30, 2014. The DTCP came to know about the discrepancy when the real owner of the land approached the court.

In order to avoid such a situation, it is hereby directed that in future the ownership certificate from District Revenue Officer should be obtained through official channel while processing licence application, stated Anurag Rastogi, DG, DTCP, in the order.

In the High court, the matter has been taken very seriously. Sensing the seriousness of the case, the double bench of the court had observed: Readings of the DTCP notings indicate that there were large number of discrepancies and therefore, show-cause notice was issued for cancellation of the licence, to which reply was filed and proceedings were dropped by the DTCP. The court had also stated that DTCP had sought second legal opinion, which went in favour of the licencees stating that there's no violation of terms and conditions of the Grant of License. Perusal of the file tentatively indicates that the licence was not granted as per the provisions of the Act.

In the order, court stated that this petition could not be dismissed simply on the ground that the petitioners have no locus standi to challenge the licence granted to the builders. "It has come on record that certificates were given by the Revenue Officers to show that the builders were owners when license was issued which tentatively indicates that license was granted contrary to provisions of the Act, rules."

The court had also mentioned that the ownerships certificate was given in connivance of the government officials to defeat provisions of law established on record.
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