In a significant judgment, the Odisha High Court on Monday ordered that an area of 2.865 acres that belongs to the Lord Lingaraj temple trust near the Bhubaneswar airport and which was subsequently vested on the State Government shall be recorded back in the temple trust as the land is not tenable for any sale or purchaseallowing a writ petition filed by one Chitaranjan Mekap also ruled that the proposed luxury hotel planned by a hotelier on the land is “fallacious” and without legal sanction because the Government does not have any legal power to do so.
The case inter alia pertains that the land was declared as “trust estate” burdened with incidence of service in favour of servitor Gobinda Mekap, father of the petitioner. While the property remained protected from vesting under the Orissa Estates Abolition Act of 1951, Gobinda executed an unregistered lease deed in favour of one D Anand Rao Dora and three others in 1965.
Later, the successors of Dora executed the land in favour of another person, Rutupurna Dhirsamant, who entered into a joint venture agreement with Assotech Millan Resorts Pvt Ltd for construction of a luxury hotel on the land. In January 2011, the Bhubaneswar Development Authority sanctioned construction of the hotel plan. But in October, the land was recorded in the name of the General Administration (GA) Department of the Government, which stopped hotel construction in October 2011.