Udupi: The district administration has issued a notice to Manipal University for violating norms by using the 109 acre land for purposes other than the specified purpose of education, and has fined the university with Rs 1,123 crores.
A notice has been served under the Land Grant Act of 1969 and the Mysore Land Grant Act of 1969. A period of 30 days has been granted for the university to pay the fine or to answer the notice.
Dr R Vishal, Deputy Commissioner and District Magistrate, speaking to the mediapersons said that 269 acres of land was decreed to Manipal University of which the university has utilized 50-52 acres for educational purposes. A petition was then filed in the Supreme Court over the utilization of 109 acres of land for other purposes but the SC had ruled the petition in favour of Manipal University. The Manipal University has converted the 109 acre of land but the purpose of decree has not been served.
“The Manipal University had written a letter to the state government mentioning the conversion of land. The state government had directed the district administration to review the same. The district administration initiated an enquiry and sent a report on the conversion to the state government. The state government has issued a notice to the Manipal University in this regard. An action will be sought after the university produces documents supporting their stand. The university has a provision on questioning the notice served by the government in the court,” he added.
When Mangalorean.com contacted the president of the Udupi City Muncipality P Yuvraj, he said that heated arguments were witnessed in the Udupi CMC meeting over the electricity connection to Manipal University NRI hostel without the approval from Udupi CMC. “The Manipal University had purchased 12 acres of land in 1968 for a swimming pool and playground, and the MU had obtained technical clearance from the Town Development Authority for the construction of the hostel in the same land 4 years back. The MU has not received a completion certificate and door number from CMC but has obtained electricity connection from MESCOM. A report on the same has been sought from the MESCOM department and a complaint has been filed in the Vigilance Department.”
“The Manipal University has constructed the NRI hostel without following the CMC norms. A letter in this regard has been sent to the government. The CMC will not give the completion certificate and NOC till the matter is resolved,” he added.
Manipal University clarifies
Clarifying the alleged misuse of land by the Revenue department, the Registrar, Dr G K Prabhu said that it was incorrect to say that Manipal University has not used the land in question to build infrastructure for educational purposes. Dr Prabhu emphatically said, “Every piece of land has been used for the purpose of education for which it was given to us about half a century ago.”
“We will seek clarification from the concerned department as it has been brought to our notice only today. The buildings existing in the said property are all authorized constructions. We have sought permission and obtained license from the authorities for all constructions. All the buildings existing in the said properties are constructed legally by obtaining Commencement Certificate, License and we even have the Occupancy Certificate and the door numbers from the Municipality.”
It may be mentioned here that the notice says partial misuse of most of the surveys and only two plots of land have been shown to be misused. Dr Prabhu said, “A similar notice was sent by the authorities in 2000. We appealed in the High Court of Karnataka and the honorable court upheld our appeal.”
Vide order number W.P.No.34051/2000, the High Court categorically said in its judgment that a mere re-arrangement does not amount to violation of the conditions of the grant. It further noted that Manipal University was entitled to use the land for whatever purpose connected to education.