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HC drops plea on sub-lease

Ranchi, Jan. 24: Jharkhand High Court has disposed of a PIL seeking a CBI probe into sub-leasing of plots by Tata Steel in Jamshedpur since the matter was already in court.

The petition was filed by Jharkhand Against Corruption, a social outfit led by tribal activist Durga Oraon, who blamed former chief minister Arjun Munda, former building construction minister Chandra Prakash Choudhury and former deputy commissioner of East Singhbhum Nitin Madan Kulkarni for improper transfer of government land.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Prakash Tatia and Justice Jaya Roy observed today that since a similar matter was already pending before a single judge in the high court, the PIL need not be taken up.

Jamshedpur Utility Services Corporation and several institutes including XLRI have already moved court challenging a government a notification banning construction work undertaken by the sub-lease holders.

Oraon has alleged that a report of development commissioner Debashish Gupta had said that sub-lease deals executed between 2005 to 2007 had earned a meagre revenue of Rs 11.59 crore for the government.

Around 482 acres, spread over prime localities of Jamshedpur, had been leased to the steel company, which had now sublet plots to as many as 59 private companies, mall owners and builders at a handsome price, the report claimed.

Oraon alleged that the government notification of September 18, 2012 clamping a stay on construction on sub-leased plots was an eyewash.

Officials, he alleged, were trying to cut deals with the private firms.

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