Patna, Sept. 16: The high court today directed the Ara Municipal Corporation (AMC) to appear on September 24 with details of alleged encroachment into a plot owned by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar.
A bench of Justice K.K. Mandal was hearing a bunch of petitions challenging the AMC’s decision to demolish illegal constructions that have come up on Meira’s land. The AMC had, in 2012, imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh each on those who built houses on land Meira claims as her own.
The court granted a week’s time to the AMC since there was no one from the corporation to represent its viewpoint during Monday’s hearing.
Appearing for Meira, Sanjay Kumar Ojha submitted that around 10 to 12 people have built houses on 81 decimal of land owned by the Lok Sabha Speaker in Chandwa Ara village, now under the AMC.
Ojha contended that it was rayyati land that was purchased by Meira’s father, former deputy Prime Minister Jagjivan Ram, in 1961.
“Meira is a busy person who does not have enough time to take care of all properties. She lives in Delhi so it is very difficult for her to keep a tab on a daily basis,” the counsel said. Meira’s power of attorney holder Mukti Nath Tiwari filed a petition before the AMC commissioner to clear alleged encroachment on her land, where people have constructed houses illegally.
Tiwari, in his petition, submitted that the houses have been made either without getting the maps passed by the AMC or in violation of the municipal act. Agreeing with Tiwari’s contention, the AMC commissioner last December passed an order directing authorities to demolish the “illegal” constructions and imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on those who built houses.
AMC commissioner-cum-certificate officer later issued an arrest warrant against the persons for not paying the Rs 1-lakh fine. One of the accused, Kamla Tiwari, is currently in jail. Several others have challenged the AMC’s order. In April, the high court was also seized of a matter in which the AMC had constructed a road on the rayyati land. Later, the AMC cleared the encroachment.
In another case, a high court bench of Justice Ravi Ranjan directed the Bihar government and the National Council of Vocation Training to file their replies by September 20 on pleas challenging the state’s decision to cancel the final examination of Industrial Training Institute without citing any reason on August 10, 2013.