Decided on July 30,2012

Suhrid Sudarshan Shah Appellant


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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