SUHRID SUDARSHAN SHAH Vs. STATE OF UTTARANCHAL
HIGH COURT OF UTTARAKHAND
Suhrid Sudarshan Shah
STATE OF UTTARANCHAL
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BARIN GHOSH,.J. -
(1.) SUPPLEMENTARY affidavit filed by respondent no. 25 in the Court
is accepted on record.
(2.) THE State of Uttar Pradesh, before creation of the State of Uttarakhand, was in possession of 104 orchards, all of which belonged to
it and which were situate in the territory which later on became part of
the territory of the State of Uttarakhand. Until such time the State of
Uttar Pradesh was in effective control of those orchards, the said State
used to run and manage the same through its Horticulture Department.
After creation of the State of Uttarakhand, the Horticulture Department
of the State of Uttarakhand felt that cost of maintaining and managing
those orchards being more than their returns, it would be better for the
State of Uttarakhand to part with the said orchards in favour of general
public. It invited six members of the public to take over seven of the
orchards earmarked by the State of Uttarakhand in its Horticulture
Department. On such invitation, all the six had shown their inclination
to take those orchards on lease. Seven leases were executed and those six
people came to be in possession of those seven orchards and became
entitled to exploit the same to the extent permitted by and under the
leases accorded in their favour. In relation to the remaining orchards,
an advertisement was published and those remaining orchards were settled
by granting of leases in favour of people, who succeeded upon response to
the said advertisement.
(3.) IN the present Public Interest Litigation, it is being contended that grants of such leases have not benefitted the State and,
accordingly, those grants should be declared illegal.
This Court felt that the grants, which followed the advertisement, should not be interfered with, inasmuch as, it is not the
contention in the writ petition that the advertisement was misleading or
that the grants, settled after the advertisement, were not transparent.
This Court felt that the matter, pertaining to grant of leases of seven
orchards on invitation having been kept concealed from the people of the
State, is required to be gone -in in public interest. We are told that out
of seven grants, three of the grantees have surrendered the grants, but
the remaining three are still holding on to the remaining four grants.
Those three grantees are, namely, Akhilesh Kala, who has two of the
grants, Dabur Research Foundation and Tata Energy Research Institute,
both of them having single grant each. Akhilesh Kala, despite notice, has
not responded, whereas Dabur Research Foundation and Tata Energy Research
Institute have responded.;
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