HC ultimatum to M'rashtra government in Lavasa case

The Bombay High Court on Friday gave an ultimatum to the Maharashtra government to file its reply in a petition by two tribal brothers alleging that their lands were usurped for constructing the Lavasa township near Pune.

A division bench headed by Justice D D Sinha has directed the government to file its affidavit within four weeks.

The court, since last year, has time and again sought a reply in the case but the state government has failed to comply with the directions following which the High Court again issued orders by way of last chance.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Bandya and Babu Walhekar, residents of Mulshi Tehsil from Pune. The brothers have challenged the June 2008 notification conferring special powers upon Lavasa Corporation Limited to acquire land and act as a special planning authority for its hill station in Pune.

The petitioners have contended that such statutory powers cannot be delegated to a private company registered under the Companies Act, 1969.

According to the petition, the land was declared surplus under the Maharashtra State Land Ceiling Act and was allotted to them by the state government.

Walhekars moved the High Court after receiving a show cause notice from the Sub-Divisional Officer, Maval, in 2010, asking why action should not be initiated for dispossessing them from their property measuring about 10 hectares and 86 acres.

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