RTI activist claims PMC failed to follow protocol

ST Correspondent
Sunday, 18 March 2018

Pune: An RTI activist has levelled allegations against Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) that the civic body has failed to consult the Legal Advisory Cell before passing a resolution to reallocate a plot of land near Parvati, back to the owner of the plot while the dispute is still in court. The PMC allegedly passed the resolution to return the unused piece of the plot to the earlier owners.

Pune: An RTI activist has levelled allegations against Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) that the civic body has failed to consult the Legal Advisory Cell before passing a resolution to reallocate a plot of land near Parvati, back to the owner of the plot while the dispute is still in court. The PMC allegedly passed the resolution to return the unused piece of the plot to the earlier owners.

RTI activist Ashish Mane said that the land at Parvati, which is located on Survey Number 120 A, 120 B and 124/2 was acquired in the year 1963 and the total plot area was 27 acres.
 “It was acquired for the purpose of rehabilitating brick kiln owners in the city. Some 40 plots were allotted to the brick kiln owners,” said Mane.

“The owners refused the monetary compensation offered by the PMC twice, even when offered with interest. The owners went to court multiple times and just like each time, in 2017 too, the courts ruled in favour of the PMC,” Mane said. 

The owners then again made revision appeal with the court and also made an application to the PMC saying 4 remaining plots of 2.5 acre total area be returned to them as compensation. 

“Most of the land acquired has been brought into use by the PMC. The remaining land is being returned to the owner, when all the earlier orders of the court are in favour of the PMC,” Mane said, adding, “This resolution, was passed by both the General Body and the Standing Committee without even consulting the Legal Advisory Cell. This is a subjudice matter. How could the PMC take such a decision without consulting its 
legality?”

Ravindra Thorat, head of the Legal Advisory Department of the PMC, said that it is not mandatory for the PMC to consult with the department. 

“The High Court has put the decision in the hands of the State government and the PMC has asked the State government to decide. The PMC is not required to approach us for consultation and they have not in this case,” said Thorat. 

“If the PMC starts adhering to such requests of returning allocated land, many others will start approaching the municipal body to get their lands back. This will set a dangerous precedent,” Mane said. 

Mane added that he will pursue this issue further, and said, “We will approach the court against this action of the PMC. This is not good for the health of a developing city like Pune.”  

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