Delhi HC refuses to stay notification on circle rates

New Delhi, Aug 20 (IANS) In a breather for the Arvind Kejriwal government, the Delhi High Court on Thursday refused to stay a notification that tripled circle rates of agricultural land in the national capital.

A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath refused to pass an interim order to stay the notification, saying it would hear the Delhi government’s stand before passing any order.

The bench asked the Delhi government to filed its response on the plea by September 23 and also apprise it whether the notification could be issued without the Lt. Governor’s approval.

The public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Congress leader Naresh Kumar said the rates should be uniform.

The petitioned asked the court to declare the August 4 notification of the state government as “null and void”.

Appearing for the Delhi government, senior advocate Dayan Krishnan opposed the plea.

Apearing for the petitioner, lawyer O.P. Saxena told the court that the city government’s decision was taken without the approval of Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung and sought its quashing.

The Lt. Governor is the government and competent authority to take a final decision on the issue, the petitioner’s lawyer said, adding that the AAP government decision to bypass Jung was totally “illegal”.

Through the notification, the Delhi government fixed the new rates in the range of Rs.1 crore and Rs.3.5 crore per acre from the earlier Rs.53 lakh per acre.

The notification has already been stayed by Jung. The Delhi government later passed a resolution against the Lt. Governor’s stay.

The petitioner asked the court to “fix uniform rates for agricultural land throughout Delhi instead of fixing rates for different areas of the national capital so as to protect the right of equality to all the farmers of Delhi”.

The notification was issued in a “discriminatory manner” and was “without any logic or justification”, the plea said.

The bench on Friday dismissed a similar plea, saying there was no merit in it.

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