SC holds Orissa Olympic Asso guilty of encroaching govt land

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SC holds Orissa Olympic Asso guilty of encroaching govt land

New Delhi, Apr 3 (PTI) The Supreme Court today held the Orissa Olympic Association (OOA) guilty of encroaching government land to raise constructions near the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack and ordered the district administration to take possession of the property.

The apex court considered the report of Accountant General of Orissa and also directed a CBI enquiry into the issue of collection of rent from 23 shops and a marriage hall which were built by OOA.

A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra directed the Collector of Cuttack to take over possession of 23 shops and ‘Kalyan Mandap’ situated in the commercial complex built by OOA and ordered the Department of Revenue to continue levying the rent and maintain shops and marriage hall.

“No tenant or anyone shall be entitled to institute any litigation in any manner in respect of the said property involved in this appeal that has arisen from TS No 312 of 1991 instituted in the Court of Additional Civil Judge, Senior Division, Cuttack. The government, if it decides to manage the properties by entering into fresh agreement, is at liberty to do so,” the bench, also comprising Justice P C Pant, said.

It rapped Asirbad Behera, General Secretary of the Orissa Olympic Association, for his conduct and barred him from contesting in OOA polls.

The top court, however, refused to order demolition of the marriage hall and said the ‘Kalyan Mandap’ was functional for more than two decades and there was no justification to direct its demolition.

“It would be appropriate if we direct the land on which Kalyan Mandap is constructed to be resumed by the government and the Kalyan Mandap should vest in the State Government and shall be managed as it is presently managed by the District Collector, Cuttack,” it said.

The court also declared the agreement between OOA and Incon Associates, for management of Kalyan Mandap also known as Barabati Palace, as “null and void”

The judgement came on the plea filed by OOA against an Orissa High Court order directing the state government to take possession of encroached government land adjoining Barabati Stadium while asking the state crime branch of the police to investigate the incident.

OOA, which had got 20 acres of government land on lease for construction of Barabati Stadium way back in 1949, subsequently encroached upon two acres adjacent vacant government land in mid-70s.

However, in 1986 the OOA sub-leased the encroached land and developed various business establishments on it and earned revenue.

Challenging the encroachment, the state government had in 2000 filed an eviction case. But OOA contested it in a civil court and in 2002 obtained a favourable decree. The state government then moved the High Court against the judgement of the lower court.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.