Sourav Ganguly will get the land as per the government’s new land allotment policy © Getty Images
Kolklata: Feb 6, 2013
Former India captain Sourav Ganguly has been allotted a two-acre plot on leasehold by the West Bengal state cabinet to set up a Plus II school in the Rajarhat New Town in Kolkata.
The Times of India reported that highly placed government officials have informed that Ganguly will receive the plot in Rajarhat’s Action Area-I on a lease of 99 years, and he would be charged in accordance with current market rates.
The report added that the land will be allotted as per the government’s new land allotment policy.
According to sources, the former cricketer will be offered the plot against a payment of Rs 11 crores.
The Supreme Court in 2011 had quashed the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government’s allocation of around 63 cottahs of land to Ganguly for the same purpose.
Also, the Supreme Court had scrapped a government decision to allot Ganguly a plot in Salt Lake’s CA Block in 2008. But then, a section of the residents had filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Calcutta High Court, challenging the government’s decision to give the plot to Ganguly.
The case went to the Supreme Court after the Calcutta High Court dismissed the petitions of the residents which challenged the manner in which the government allotted the plot.
As per the petition filed by a NGO, the plot was worth Rs 44.9 crore, but it was allotted to Ganguly for only Rs 63 lakhs, violating the rules and regulations and also in extraordinary haste.
The NGO also claimed that the former Indian captain had initially taken passion of 48 cottahs of land, but had also requested the then state urban development minister, Ashok Bhattacharya, for more land because ICSE only gave affiliation to schools that have a minimum of 60 cottahs.
Ganguly was directed to peacefully return the land to the state government in two weeks by a Supreme Court bench of Justices GS Singhvi and AK Ganguly.
The bench had also quashed the allotment of the plot
“The impugned allotment is clearly in breach of the principles of Article 14 [equality] of the Constitution,” the bench said.
“We are sorry to hold that in making the impugned allotment in favour of the allottee, the State has failed to discharge its constitutional role…. The second allotment is not only about a change in the location of the land, but… also of a much larger plot of land, brought about in terms of the request of the allottee for a bigger plot.
“The government was so anxious to oblige the allottee by giving (him) a bigger plot, that too with no loss of time,” Justice Ganguly wrote.