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Thursday, May 9, 2013

SAUGHT EXEMPTION FROM URBAN LAND CEILING FOR DONATION, LATER WITHDRAWN BY THE GOVT. AND LATER ALLOTTED THE SAME ON CONSIDERATION TO THE SAME PROPOSED DONEE UNDER SEC.23 [4] OF ACT, SO THE DONEE BECOMES ABSOLUTE OWNER BUT NOT DONEE= We are of the considered opinion that, since the Appellant-Society has become the absolute owner of the land by virtue of the order dated 13.02.2006 passed by the State Government, the Appellant- Society is at liberty to use the property in question to its benefit and advantage and the Writ Court, therefore, was not justified in making certain observations, which would come in the way of Appellant-Society in utilizing the land to its maximum advantage. 16. In the result, while allowing this appeal, we set aside the following observations made by the High Court in paragraph 9 of the impugned judgment and order: "...Accordingly, we can only direct M/s. Indo Arab league to strictly adhere to the laws applicable for the purpose of making any construction and as per the undertaking given by it in paragraph - 5 of their counter affidavit. The construction made also shall not be alienated in any manner, but have to be used only for cultural or religious purpose."


IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CIVIL APPEAL NO. 237 OF 2013
(Arising out of SLP(C) No. 5615 of 2007)


INDO ARAB LEAGUE Appellant
THROUGH ITS CHAIRMAN

VERSUS

A.FAIZUDDIN & ORS. Respondents



O R D E R




1. Delay condoned.

2. Leave granted.

3. This appeal by special leave is directed against the judgment and
order passed by the High Court of Judicature of Andhra Pradesh at
Hyderabad in Writ Petition No. 22445 of 2005, dated 11.07.2006.




4. Before delving into the merits of the case, we would first bring
forth the factual resume of the case. 
One Smt. Basheerunnisa Begum
was the original owner of the property in question. She had filed
an application before the State Government stating her intention
of donating the excess land, admeasuring 10,000 sq.mts., held by
her in Plot Nos. 63 and 66 at Road No. 10, Banjara Hills,
Hyderabad to the Appellant-Society for promotion of its cultural
activities and construction of a complex by it and sought for
exemption from the provisions of Chapter III of the Urban Land
(Ceiling and Regulation) Act, 1976 ("the Act" for short).


5. The Appellant-Society had also filed an application dated
03.05.1984 before the State Government, inter alia, requesting the
Government to exempt the aforesaid excess land from the provisions
of the Act and thus enable the original owner to donate the said
land, for the purposes of construction and establishment of a
cultural centre, in favour of the Appellant-Society.


6. The Special Officer and Competent Authority, Urban Land Ceiling,Hyderabad had examined the aforesaid requests and vide letterdated 10.07.1984, reported to the State Government that Smt.Basheerunnisa Begum ("original owner" for short) holds excessland, to the extent of 9056 sq.mts., in Plot Nos. 63 and 66 inSurvey Nos. 120 and 121 of Shaikpet village, Hyderabad.


7. The State Government, after examining the aforesaid requests of
the original owner, the Appellant-Society and the report of the
Special Officer and Competent Authority, Urban Land Ceiling,
Hyderabad had passed an order granting exemption from the
provisions of Ceiling Act to the aforesaid extent of excess vacant
land in exercise of its powers under clause (9) of Sub-Section (1)
of Section 20 of the Act, vide G.O.Ms. No. 1187, Revenue (UC.II)
Department, dated 16.07.1984. 

Therein, it was specifically noted
that the original owner shall not utilise the said land for any
other purpose but for the purpose stated in her application.


8. On a request made by the appellant on a later date, the State
Government, by its subsequent G.O.Ms. No. 154, dated 13.02.2006
has withdrawn its earlier exemption order contained in G.O.Ms.
No.1187 dated 16.07.1984 and allotted the said land in favour of Appellant-Society in exercise of its power under Section 23(4) of the Act, thereby the Appellant-Society has become the absolute
owner of the said land having right, title and interest in it.





9. A letter dated 20.09.2005, addressed to the Chief Justice of the
High Court was sent seeking his intervention in the interests of
minorities and to protect the land in question from being utilized
for commercial purposes. 

The said letter was treated as Public
Interest Litigation on the ground that the said land was being mis-
utilised for the purposes other than the purpose for which
exemption was granted under the Act and was taken up as Writ
Petition No. 22445 of 2005. 

The Court, by impugned judgment and
order directed the appellant-Society to strictly adhere to the
laws applicable for the purpose of making any construction as
undertaken by them in their counter affidavit and has further
directed not to alienate the subject land in any manner but to
utilize it only for cultural or religious purpose. Aggrieved by
the aforesaid direction, the Appellant-Society is before us in
this appeal.


10. The issue in this appeal is limited to the aforesaid observations
made in the impugned judgment and order by the Writ Court.

11. Shri. Nageshwar Rao, learned senior counsel appearing for the
Appellant-Society, would submit that in view of the several
Government Orders passed pursuant to the request made by the
original owner and thereafter by the Appellant-Society, the
Appellant-Society has become the absolute owner of the property in
question and, therefore, the High Court was not justified in
directing the Appellant-Society not to alienate the land and use
it in any manner other than for cultural or religious purposes.
The learned senior counsel would further submit that the statement
in the impugned judgment and order, to the effect that the
Appellant-Society would adhere to certain undertaking given by
them in paragraph 5 of their reply statement/counter affidavit, is
not proper and that the Writ Court has misinterpreted the
undertaking of the appellant-society. He explains that the
undertaking given by the Appellant-Society, before the High Court,
was to restrain itself from making any construction without
obtaining appropriate permission/licences from the regulatory
bodies such as Municipal Corporation and, therefore, submits that
the statement quoted above by the Writ Court is factually
incorrect.

12. Learned senior counsel for the State fairly states that 
the State
Government, after receiving appropriate fees/consideration, had
allotted land to the Appellant-Society, thereby, the absolute
ownership in the land vested in the Appellant-Society.



13. Since the Writ Court had treated the anonymous letter as a Public
Interest Litigation, there is no other person opposing the prayers
made by the Appellant-Society in this appeal.



14. We have carefully perused the impugned judgment and order passed
by the High Court. 
The High Court, after issuing appropriatenotices to the persons who would be aggrieved by the order, has
come to the conclusion that the Appellant-Society is the donee of
the land and, thereafter allottee of the land by virtue of the
order passed by the State Government dated 13.02.2006.
Inspite of
the aforesaid conclusion, the Court has directed the Appellant-
Society not to alienate the land in any manner but use it for a
particular purpose.


15. We are of the considered opinion that, 
since the Appellant-Society
has become the absolute owner of the land by virtue of the order
dated 13.02.2006 passed by the State Government, the Appellant-
Society is at liberty to use the property in question to its
benefit and advantage 

and the Writ Court, therefore, was not
justified in making certain observations, which would come in the
way of Appellant-Society in utilizing the land to its maximum
advantage.
16. In the result, while allowing this appeal, we set aside the
following observations made by the High Court in paragraph 9 of the
impugned judgment and order:



"...Accordingly, we can only direct M/s. Indo Arab league to
strictly adhere to the laws applicable for the purpose of making
any construction and as per the undertaking given by it in
paragraph - 5 of their counter affidavit. The construction made
also shall not be alienated in any manner, but have to be used
only for cultural or religious purpose."


17. In the facts and circumstances of the case, the parties are
directed to bear their own costs.




Ordered accordingly.



........................J.
(H.L. DATTU)



........................J.
(RANJAN GOGOI)

NEW DELHI,
JANUARY 09, 2013.

ITEM NO.11 COURT NO.7 SECTION XIIA

S U P R E M E C O U R T O F I N D I A
RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS

Petition(s) for Special Leave to Appeal (Civil) No(s).5615/2007

INDO ARAB LEAGUE TR.ITS CHAIRMAN Petitioner(s)

VERSUS

A.FAIZUDDIN & ORS. Respondent(s)

(With appln(s) for c/delay in filing SLP, permission to file additional
documents and prayer for interim relief and office report)

Date: 09/01/2013 This Petition was called on for hearing today.

CORAM : HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE H.L. DATTU
HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE RANJAN GOGOI

For Petitioner(s) Mr. L.N. Rao, Sr. Adv.
Mr. S. Udaya Kumar Sagar, Adv.
Ms. Bina Madhavan, Adv.
Ms. Anindita Pujari, Adv.
Ms. Praseena Elizabeth Joseph, Adv.
M/S. Lawyer'S Knit & Co.

For Respondent(s) Mr. S.S. Prasad, Adv.
For St. of A.P. Ms. C.K. Sucharita, Adv.
Mr. Rumi Chanda, Adv.

Mr. Pratap Venugopal, Adv.
Ms. Surekha Raman, Adv.
Mr. Gaurav Nair, Adv.
Mr. K.J. John, Adv.

UPON hearing counsel the Court made the following
O R D E R

Delay condoned.
Leave granted.
Appeal is allowed in terms of the signed order.






(NAVEEN KUMAR) (VINOD KULVI)
COURT MASTER COURT MASTER
(Signed order is placed on the file)




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