Acquisition lapses if land not used for two decades
A division bench of Gujarat high court upheld a single-judge’s order directing Gujarat Housing Board (GHB) to return a land to its original owner as it had failed to utilize it for public housing for nearly two decades.
The case pertains to a plot in Vareli village of Surat. In a development plan sanctioned by the Surat Urban Development Authority (SUDA) in 1986, a plot was earmarked for public housing and it was acquired by the housing board. Thereafter, a revised development plan in 1993 and 1996 was submitted to the state government in which the plot was reserved for GHB.
Later between 2001 and 2004, the development plan was modified and the plot was not shown as reserved for the housing purpose. The owners of the plot moved the HC in 2008 claiming that the acquisition lapsed because GHB failed to utilize the land and also because the purpose of the acquired land had changed later. A single-judge had earlier this year held that the plot should be de-reserved. This order was upheld by the division bench on Thursday.