SAMARENDRA NATH SIKDAR & ORS Vs. STATE OF WEST BENGAL & ORS
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
Samarendra Nath Sikdar And Ors
State Of West Bengal And Ors
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Protik Prakash Banerjee, J. -
(1.) The writ petitioners have come to this Court being aggrieved with an order of resumption of a Government land which had been allotted to the predecessor in interest of the writ petitioners and subsequently permitted to be transferred to predecessor in interest and others. At no point of time was any deed of lease entered into but as appears from Annexure P/8 the Authority excused its execution and registration and postponed it till completion of the construction. The construction was not completed despite a building plan being sanctioned. The writ petitioners have taken the point that initially the construction was delayed because of delay in mutation for which reason no plan could be sanctioned and subsequently it was delayed because of the financial hardship of the petitioners. The writ petitioners have further demonstrated that they had applied for extension of time to complete construction and when a notice had been issued to them thereafter to show cause why the land should not be resumed they had also answered that notice showing financial hardship and seeking time to complete the construction.
(2.) In the affidavit in opposition the respondents have disclosed the order dated January 2, 2014 by which they had extended time to complete construction but made it conditional on construction starting within 20 days and completion of the construction by June 30, 2014 failing which they had indicated that the land would be resumed and no further extension would be granted.
(3.) No objection was made to this notice nor any representation was made by the writ petitioners within the time mentioned in the notice dated January 2, 2014. Normally this would have been the reason to uphold the decision of resumption taken on April 4, 2017. However, while I was dictating this judgment, the State of West Bengal through Mr. Bandyopadhyay, learned junior Government advocate has very fairly submitted that Annexure R/3 shows that after the notice dated January 2, 2014 the State of West Bengal had issued a further notice dated May 22, 2015. This was far beyond the outer most limit fixed by the notice dated January 2, 2014. Even though the said notice dated January 2, 2014 had categorically stated that there would not be no further extension of time to complete the construction or even to start construction once again, a notice was issued to show cause why resumption will not be made even though the earlier notice of January 2, 2014 had clearly mentioned that the reply to the show cause notice filed by the petitioners was being disposed of by extending the time on the conditions mentioned in the said notice and on non-performance of the said condition resumption will be made. Therefore, it is clear that on May 22, 2014 the respondents had not treated the decision of not extending the time to complete the construction as final but since the notice stated that it was being issued after a recent inspection, that is to say long after June 30, 2014 the notice directing the cause to be shown why resumption should not be resorted to was merely in terrorim and not really intended to be something which would divest the said writ petitioners of their possession.;
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