** High Court orders to maintain status quo on the orders of the government to take possession of 1047 acres of land without ejectment order *

M/s Fauja Singh Infrastructure Private Limited(Petitioner), the
company belonging to the Quark Group has approached the Hon’ble
High Court against the action of the respondents for taking possession
on 29.7.2022 in respect of their 1047 acres land in village Chotti Badi
Naggal. The petitioner has alleged that a 100% FDI investment in the
state of Punjab and is only surviving super mega project of Punjab and
they have invested Rs.10,000/- crores in the state of Punjab and
provided 35000 jobs only in just 51 acres of development besides the
group has also undertaken various philanthropic and humanitarian
initiatives including construction of schools, building village
infrastructure etc.
The petitioner’s grievance is that they have purchased this land
under an MoU for developing the project in two phases between 1999 to
2005 after verification of the revenue record in which proprietors were
recorded as owners in possession. No objections were raised by any of
the authorities at that time and thereafter they were recorded owners in
the revenue record as well. The properties were paid market value and
State earned huge revenue from the stamp duty etc.
In 2010, for the first time the Gram Panchayat filed a petition u/s
11 of Punjab village common land act, 1961 allegedly through one gram
sewak claiming to be owner in which company was also made party and
they filed written statement in the year 2012. An order was pronounced
on 21.9.2021, but, the same was actually notified on 8.6.2022. Section 11
only gives declaration of ownership and against that 60 days time is
there to file appeal and actually the petitioner has already filed appeal
before the competent authority on 8.8.2022.
However, suddenly the state authorities came to the spot on
29.7.2022 to take forcible possession without any order of ejectment or
prior intimation. The case of the petitioner is that they have to follow
due process of law and they cannot take forcible possession by misusing
state machinery. Their allegation is that this has happened due to change
of Govt. and totally without any application of mind.
Appearing for the petitioner Sh. Chetan Mittal, Senior Advocate,
S/Sh. Kunal Mulwani, Udit Garg, Himanshu Gupta, Advocates further
alleged that the petitioner is under a valid agreement of super mega
project category and they cannot be penalised for no fault on their part
and particularly in the manner where the state authorities are acting.
The Hon’ble Division Bench when asked the Counsel representing
the State and Gram Panchayat as to whether any Section 7 proceedings
were initiated, the official present in the Court admitted that there is no
Section 7 proceedings.
The counsel for the petitioner requested the Bench to take the
record into possession to verify how they have taken the alleged
possession based upon no proceedings. On this the Counsel for the
respondents informed that on 8.6.2022 itself when Section 11 order was
pronounced on the same date warrants were issued by the same
authority who has passed Section 11. It has been further brought to the
notice of the Hon’ble Court that the so called decision dated 21.9.2021
even under Section 11 is merely a declaration of ownership and as per
settled law they have to file Section 7 ejectment petition, but, even that
position is wrong because on 8.6.2022 the said officer has passed another
corrigendum making correction in the order dated 21.9.2021 and the
certified copy which was applied on 24.9.2021 was prepared on 9.6.2022
and delivered on 10.6.2022.
The Court after recording the contention of the parties issued
notice of motion and also ordered status quo regarding possession on
the spot.
The next date of hearing is 22.8.2022.

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