The Telegraph
Tuesday , May 6 , 2014
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Affidavit bypass invites summons

Patna High Court on Monday summoned the urban development and housing department secretary and the housing board managing director for failing to file a counter-affidavit in the Digha land case.

The court gave the directive on a petition, filed by Harendra Pratap Singh, that talked about the state government’s failure to enact the Digha Acquired Land Settlement Act till now. The act was passed by the Assembly and Council on April 20, 2010. It has also been published in the state gazette but it is still to be enacted through a government notification.

The court issued the summons after non-compliance of its directive to the government to file counter-affidavit twice earlier.

The state government had acquired plots in Digha from farmers in 1974 at the rate of around Rs 2,200 per cottah. Bihar State Housing Board (BSHB) had also deposited Rs 17.42 crore to the Patna district collector towards the acquisition.

However, any kind of purchase or sale of land and fresh construction is totally prohibited on disputed land in Rajeev Nagar-Digha from the day the act was passed. Also, the Supreme Court had stated that these people do not have a locus standi on the land. Accordingly, the apex court directed the BSHB to ensure compliance with the act.

The division bench of high court of Justice Navin Sinha and Justice Prabhat Kumar Jha on Monday directed the urban development and housing secretary and the housing board MD to appear in person before the court on June 23.