Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh High Court has stopped the state from demolishing the construction carried out on a contentious piece of land, near Solan, leased out to yoga guru Ramdev’s trust Patanjali Yogpeeth.
A double bench of the court consisting of Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Kuldip Singh, today, admitted a petition by Patanjali Yogpeeth that has challenged the governments’ unilateral action to taking possession of the contentious property.
Serving notice on the government, (CMP No. 1375 of 2013) the court besides barring the state for demolishing any structure has restrained it from changing the nature or possession of the land in question.
The petition (CWP No. 803 of 2013A) pleads before the court that the government had taken illegal possession of 96.5 bighas of land near Sadhupul, Solan for which Patanjali Yogpeeth following the process of law had duly entered into a lease deed in 2010.
The trust has claimed that about Rs 11 Cr had been spent on developing the land of which it has been dispossessed.
On short notice, the government on February 22 had forcefully taken possession of the property, where the trust is said to be developing a yoga center cum Ayurvedic hospital.
Land allotted to the yoga guru’s trust by the previous BJP government did form part of a set of charges that the congress party, then in the opposition, had leveled; holding that public assets had been given out much below market values for commercial ventures.
The land at a scenic spot on the road to Chail, a tourist township, was given out on a one time lease payment of Rs 17 lakhs for a period of 99 years. A token yearly lease of Re 1 was also imposed.
The leased land belonged to erstwhile royal family of Patiala and was donated to the government by Cpt. Amarinder Singh’s family in 1956 for setting up a children’s home.
The court has listed April 24 for further hearing in the case.