The Allahabad High Court has rejected the Jaiprakash Associates Ltd’s (JAL) petition seeking one-year time to sell a 150-acre land parcel in the Special Development Zone (SDZ) ‘core area’ of Sector 25 to clear over Rs 3,600-crore land dues of the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA).
The court observed the land allotment was cancelled by the Authority in February 2020 and said it cannot grant interim protection to allow JAL to deal with or sell any part of the disputed property as it would then have to set aside the cancellation of allotment.
The bench of Chief Justice Pritinker Diwaker and Justice Saumitra Dayal Singh, which is hearing the case filed by JAL against the YEIDA’s order to cancel the allotment of 1,000 hectares for developing a Sports City off the Yamuna Expressway in Sector 25 on February 12, 2020, is likely to pass the verdict in the case in the next hearing in August.
“We are of the firm opinion that in the face of the order of cancellation of allotment and during its continuance, we cannot grant interim protection to allow the petitioner to deal with or sell any part of the disputed property. To do that would be to set aside the cancellation of allotment… Though that relief is not prohibited in law, by very nature of the relief claimed, it may be granted at the stage of the final hearing and not by way of interim protection,” the court order, dated July 13, read.
The court also noted that all efforts to reach a settlement between YEIDA and JAL over the past years have failed, and now it would pass a final year in the case.
JAL had approached the HC seeking interim relief and expressed willingness to clear the Rs 3,621 crore dues, as pointed out by YEIDA. The developer also provided a resolution plan for completing residential projects.
YEIDA and JAL have been at odds over the outstanding land dues related to the cancellation of the developer’s land allotment. While YEIDA claims JAL owes Rs 3,621 crore, the developer argues the outstanding amount was about Rs 1,500 crore.
During the hearing on July 13, JAL’s senior counsel sought interim protection, by way of a stay on the cancellation of the allotment, so that JAL could dispose of certain portions of the leased land to generate funds for both the undisputed and disputed demands of YEIDA and generate revenue to complete the residential projects for which JAL was allotted a vast tract of land.
JAL’s counsel said it was willing to go along with YEIDA and deposit a reasonable amount of money during the pendency of this petition. The developer told the HC that it would need one year to sell the land. However, the proposal was stoutly rejected by YEIDA.
YEIDA told the court that JAL would be required to pay 10% of the total dues for restoration of the allotment.
The court also observed it was homebuyers who suffered because of this petition. “The court granted ample protection to the petitioner by passing an order of status quo. That order has allowed the petitioner to retain possession over the allotted land and has effectively prevented YEIDA from either cancelling the lease deed/s or resuming the land, or any part thereof, or in any way dealing with that land or any part thereof. If at all, the interim order has operated to the grave prejudice of the homebuyers,” the order read.