SC decides to frame guidelines for allotting public land to politicians, bureaucrats
The Supreme Court has decided to frame guidelines for allotting public land at subsidised rates. It expressed concern over state governments alloting residential plots in cities to serving and former MPs, MLAs, bureaucrats, journalists and judges of their choice by exercising their discretionary power. A bench of Justices J Chelameswar and S Abdul Nazeer said all state government schemes on land allocation would be brought under judicial scrutiny to curb the largesse.
“We must have a more transparent system for allocating plots. Poor people cannot afford to have a house in cities and they are not able to get the most basic requirement of life but lands are being allotted to others. It has become a discretion at the hands of the government in allocation of land and we all know what discretion leads to. Proper guidelines are required and we will examine the issue,” the bench said.
Attorney general K K Venugopal also agreed with the view of the bench and said that states had been using its power to allot plots arbitrarily without following due procedure. He pleaded the SC to intervene and frame guidelines.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for one of the petitioners, contended that it was against constitutional principle to allot plots to judges, bureaucrats and politicians who were already having houses. “Can we have a scheme where the poor are being deprived of houses but well-to-do members of society are being distributed largesse by the state. How can a class of privileged people be given the subsidised land?” he said.
The bench directed chief secretaries of all states to provide details of schemes on land allocation to the attorney general by October 5 and asked the AG to file a report after examining them. It was also of the view that some condition should be imposed on allottee not to part with the land allocated to them at least during their life time.