HC orders CBI probe into illegal construction of commercial complex in Gurugram

In a significant verdict, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has quashed Haryana government’s orders vide which the government in 2001 “illegally” permitted construction of commercial complex in Gurgaon on a land reserved for residential society.

The matter pertains to the construction raised in approximately 18.98 acres of land right adjacent to the Delhi-Jaipur National Highway, in Gurgaon, which comprises of residential complex, commercial buildings as well as a Mall, popularly known as Ambience Mall

A division bench of Justices Rajan Gupta and Karamjit Singh has also ordered an independent probe into the scandal by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

In its order passed today, the High Court held that “Delicensing orders dated October 18, 2001 orders granting license/permission vide order dated October 16, 2001 and dated September 1, 2010 passed after submission of Deed of Declaration on March 25, 2009 are hereby quashed”.

The High Court has directed the Haryana government to “take necessary consequential steps forthwith”.

The order reads “Though irregularities, as pointed out above, at the time of initial submission of application sans the layout plan and drastic changes made in the format by the builder, it cannot be disputed that the original idea was to set up group housing complex on entire 18.93 acres. The court thus feels that the rights of the residents of the housing project need to be preserved”.

The High Court has held “The court cannot countenance blatant violation of statutory provisions and erection of buildings, particularly commercial in nature, conceived by a builder for unjust enrichment, at

the cost of general public. It cannot turn a blind eye to such illegal actions and possible collusion between private builder and State authorities. The interpolations and/or tampering with the application form and record is, however, a matter of investigation. We thus have no option but to hold that the order delicencing part of residential area for commercial purpose is without authority of law and needs to be

It adds “As regards, the illegal actions and offence, if any, made out, and possible collusion between the builder and State authorities, a separate investigation is necessary by an independent agency”.

Directing the CBI to probe, the High Court has held “In view of the fact that the responsibility has to be fixed it is further directed that the Central Bureau of Investigation would investigate the entire issue after registering a formal FIR by a team of Officers to be chosen by the Director, CBI within six weeks from today”.

The order reads “ An effort shall be made to complete the entire investigation within six months and a status report be submitted in sealed cover within three months. The original record of HUDA be retained in the safe custody of Registrar (Judicial). CBI shall be at liberty to move an application for obtaining the record after it begins its proceedings”.

At the time of filing of the petition, a prayer was made to restrain construction of commercial complex on Ambience Lagoon Complex (having licence for residential colony) and to seal the commercial building. However, it appears that during the pendency of petition, the entire construction has been completed. It has further been prayed that the illegally constructed commercial complex be demolished and a CBI investigation be ordered for the usurpation of the land by the builder in active connivance with the authorities.

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