HC judge moves HC against ULC order

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Nagpur, Nov 7 (UNI) Justice J N Patel, the seniormost judge of the Bombay High Court, and his family have approached the Nagpur bench of the same court against an order of the local administration declaring 34 acres of their ancestral land, which is part of a major chunk that they sold recently in the city's biggest real estate deal ever, as surplus under the Urban Land Ceiling (ULC) Act.

The petition, filed by Justice Patel and his brothers, Harinarayan Patel and Shrinarayan Patel, against the order has been listed for hearing tomorrow.

Earlier, the matter was mentioned for urgent circulation before a division bench, comprising Justice Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Justice C L Pangarkar on Monday.

The Patel brothers have urged the Court to quash the order of the local ULC authorities which held that the ULC Act was applicable to the land as it was part of the Nagpur urban agglomerate.

Besides declaring 34 acres of the land as surplus, the order said that 6.02 acres will be utilised for roads, leaving the family with a retainable share of only 1.12 acres.

Justice Patel and his family had filed the returns of the land last month after the authorities issued them notices. The notices pertained to the 41.14 acres of the ancestral property of the family, which was sold in May last in what was probably the biggest single land deal here for a whopping Rs 105 crore.

The deal was signed between Justice Patel, his brothers, and the Mumbai-based Hagwood Commercial Developers, floated by the Provogue Group of Companies, headed by Nikhil Chaturvedi. In addition, two other members of the Patel family, brother Shivnarayan Patel and sister Lilavati Tukaram Yadav, signed the deed as consenting parties.

The deal was made at a rate of Rs 2.55 crore per acre, or Rs 585 per sq ft at a time when the official rate for land in the area was Rs 10 lakh per acre. The land is situated at Chinchbhuwan, just on the outskirts of Nagpur city and barely a km away from Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport.

The total area sold was 41,600 square metres, or nearly 18 lakh square feet. The buying party has already paid Rs 90 crore to the vendor, and has promised to pay the balance before January 1 next, for which it has also furnished a bank guarantee. The buyer intends to construct a township, a five-star hotel and a shopping mall on the land.

UNI

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