Patna High Court on Wednesday stayed a previous order for the acquisition of a bungalow on Bailey Road for developing an international museum, casting a shadow on the construction schedule of the ambitious project.
The high court single bench on March 26 had passed an order asking income tax chief commissioner to vacate his bungalow at 6 Bailey Road so that it could be acquired for construction of the museum. But on Wednesday, the division bench of Justice Shiva Kirti Singh and Justice Vikash Jain imposed a stay on the directive hearing an appeal filed by the chief commissioner challenging the previous order.
Art and culture department minister Sukhda Pandey said the state government was optimistic that land related issues would be settled amicably.
The building construction department intends to start the museum construction this year and complete the project by 2015. But the court order could lead to delayed start of the project.
“The court made it clear that the stay order would be in operation till the disposal of the appeal,” the petitioner’s counsel, Archana Sinha, told The Telegraph.
The court also asked the state government and the income tax department to hold a meeting within three weeks for providing an alternative accommodation to the chief commissioner, failing which the court would decide on the matter on merit.
The counsel for the petitioner submitted that the single bench had passed an ex-parte order to vacate the premises without giving the petitioner a chance to put up his side.
Sinha contended that the bungalow no. 6 belonged to the Union finance ministry as the state government had settled the plot in its favour in 1930. Since then, the ministry had taken care of it.
“The state government offered the income tax department bungalow no. 26 on Hardinge Road but it is too small and dilapidated,” she said.
The New Patliputra Museum is supposed to be constructed on the southern flank of Bailey Road in the area between LN Mishra Institute of Social Studies and Hartali Mor railway crossing at a cost of Rs 350 crore.
The high court on Wednesday directed the civic authorities to submit why they had failed to remove encroachment from roads along Rajendra Nagar station, Commerce College and Heart Hospital.
The division bench of Justice Shiva Kirti Singh and Justice Chakradhari Sharan Singh directed the principal secretary of the urban development department, district magistrate and Patna Municipal Corporation to file counter-affidavits by September 17.