Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court on Thursday issued notices to top officials and TRS president and Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao to file counters within four weeks in response to a PIL that questioned the allotment of prime lands worth about Rs 500 crore in 33 district headquarters towns for a throwaway price of Rs 100 per square yard.
Apart from Rao, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Abhinand Kumar Shavili issued notices to the Chief Secretary, the Chief Commissioner of Land Affairs (CCLA), the principal secretary, revenue, the Hyderabad Collector and Srinivas Reddy, TRS general secretary.
The PIL sought the suspension of Government Order 47, dated May 11, 2022, which allotted government land in various district headquarters to set up the TRS offices.
The petitioner, K. Maheswar Raj, in particular, mentioned a land parcel measuring 4,935 square yards in NBT Nagar, Road No.1 2, Banjara Hills, (Survey No. 403/P of Shaikpet village) was given for the construction of the TRS Hyderabad office. The market value of the land, the PIL claimed, was Rs 2 lakh per square yard but it was allotted to the TRS for Rs 100 per square yard.
Chikkudu Prabhakar, counsel for petitioner, said that the state government was the trustee of the land and it could not dole out government lands as it wished. He referred to observations made by the Supreme Court that “the State is the legal owner of the natural resources and the State is the trustee of the people and they (natural resources) should be used in the larger interest of the general public.”
Prabhakar mentioned that government land worth crores of rupees had been given for the TRS office construction despite the fact that a party office already stood in Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad, which was constructed recently.
The petitioner also challenged the GO 167, issued on August 16, which stated that all recognised political parties would receive one acre of land in each of the 32 district headquarters at a nominal fee of Rs 100 per square yard.