The Jharkhand High Court Tuesday stayed the transfer of nearly 80 acres of land on the outskirts of state capital Ranchi to a society of civil service officers at throwaway prices.
A division bench of Justice M.Y. Iqbal and Justice R.R. Prasad, while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL), stayed the transfer of the land and issued a notice to the state government.
“The division bench has asked the state government under what provisions was the land transferred to the society and if the cabinet is above the law? What is the public’s interest in transferring land to civil servants? The court has asked the government to submit the original document related to transfer of land,” Rajiv Kumar, a lawyer, told reporters here.
The next hearing of the case will take place March 8.
The land in Sanga village is “Gair Mazurwa” and can be transferred only to poor, tribal and Dalit people. The land transfer was cleared by Jharkhand cabinet in 2004 and the Civil Service Officers Cooperative Housing Society Limited (CSOCHSL) deposited Rs.1.48 crore for 78.32 acres of land at a price of Rs.1,200 per decimal.
The market price of the land is, however, more than Rs.75,000 per decimal and the estimated price of 78.32 acres of land will be more than Rs.80 crore at prevailing market prices.
The PIL was in the court Saturday. Petitioner Vishal Kumar contended the land has been transferred through a registered deed to CSOCHSL by violating the rules and demanded the transfer be immediately scrapped and a vigilance probe should be ordered to investigate the entire episode.
According to reports, the land has huge deposits of granite. Chief Minister Shibu Soren has promised to look into the issue