High Court stays Uttarakhand government attempt to takeover ground

Dehra Dun : Attempt of the state government to take possession of the Rangers’ College ground in the heart of the city were foiled, at least temporarily, with the Uttarakhand High Court directing the district magistrate Dehra Dun to open the lock and undo the seal that had been imposed upon the gates of the College at the behest of the state government.

A single bench of the Uttarakhand High Court of Justice Tarun Aggarwal stayed the orders of the district magistrate Dehra Dun of Sept 14, by which he had re-allotted the 23 bighas ground to the state government.

Incidentally, the Forest Research Institute here, which is under the union ministry of forest and environment and was the earlier possessor of the ground, was also not given a hearing.

In a petition filed before the court by the union government and others it was held that in 1906 and the said ground was transferred to the forest department which is under the union ministry of forest and environment.

Thereafter it was given on a 90-year lease to the Imperial Forest department, Dehra Dun. And the Uttarakhand government was no where in the picture then.

It may be recalled that the Uttarakhand government had taken possession of the said ground on Sept 14 on the plea that the 90-year lease of the Forest Research Institute for the ground had lapsed in 1996.

It had also issued directions that hence forth no one would take permission from the Forest Research Institute for use of the ground, but would have to do so from the concerned state government authorities.

The orders of the Uttarakhand High Court has brought relief to not only the students of St Thomas School, whose children use the ground as a play filed, but also to the large number of budding cricketers and players of the state capital who use the ground for practice matches and also a filed where they cam put in hours of practice in their sports disciplines.

A journalist with over 40 years of experience, Jagdish Bhatt was Editor, Hill Post (Uttarakhand). Jagdish had worked with India's leading English dailies, which include Times of India, Indian Express, Pioneer and several other reputed publications. A highly acclaimed journalist, he was a recipient of many awards Jagdish Bhatt, aged 72, breathed his last on 28th August 2021 at his Dehradun residence.

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