The decision of Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) to stop resale of leased land has evoked sharp reactions from builders who have termed the order “arbitrary and legally invalid”.
Some of the builders’ associations are also planning to approach the high court against the civic body order.
Two days ago, PMC commissioner Pankaj Kumar Pal had passed an order issuing notices to 95 lessees who had been allotted land by the erstwhile Patna Regional Development Authority (now merged with PMC) but later resold their land to builders for constructing highrises — both for residential and commercial purposes.
The corporation had even written letters to registration office mentioning the plots on which the registry of flats/buildings had to be stopped with immediate effect. Also, orders were issued to stop on-going construction works on such plots.
The move came after the civic body got Sri Krishna Puri and Rajendra Nagar localities surveyed for identifying the structures that were constructed in violation with the lease deeds. Sources said 82 such structures were identified in the Rajendra Nagar and 12 in the Sri Krishna Puri. A similar survey is also being carried out in the Boring Road area.
The move, however, has not gone down well with the builders and the lessees who said the corporation had taken the decision in haste without checking its legal validity.
“If builders come up with such huge constructions, they will not buy plots whose title is controversial. The provisions of the lease deed clearly say that after the initial 10 years of lock-in period, the lease holders are entitled to sell out their land. The order will not stay ground in court. We are planning to file a case in the high court,” said Narendra Kumar, president of Bihar Chapter of Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (CREDAI).
The state wing of Builder Association of India (BAI), too, criticised the order saying the aim was to unnecessarily harass the builders.
“The orders issued by the PMC are not according to the provisions of the lease deeds signed by the lessees and the erstwhile Patna Regional Development Authority. I don’t know what the motive behind such a step is but no lessee will accept such high-handedness,” BAI Bihar president Sachin Chandra said.
The PMC commissioner, however, said all the terms and conditions of the lease deeds were studied before coming up with the executive order.
“We have consulted our legal team before passing out the instruction. The norms clearly say that even after initial lock-in period when re-selling is completely impermissible, permission has to be sought from PMC before selling out land to a third party as land rights are held by the civic body and not lessees. The noted constructions have been erected or are being erected in gross violation of the norms,” Pal said.
The civic body commissioner added that the lease holders and builders were free to move court if they think they are right.