Quark City developer’s plea: HC asks commissioner to decide dispute expeditiously - Hindustan Times
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Quark City developer’s plea: HC asks commissioner to decide dispute expeditiously

By, Chandigarh
Mar 17, 2023 12:18 AM IST

The bench of Justice Sureshwar Singh Thakur also said that status quo would prevail on the possession of the land till the time the commissioner does not decide the firm’s plea

The Punjab and Haryana high court has directed the commissioner, panchayat, Mohali, to decide the dispute between the panchayats and an international firm, the developer of Quark City, on the ownership of 1,047-acre land in Mohali’s Majri block, where the latter’s super mega project was to come up.

The Punjab and Haryana high court has directed the commissioner, panchayat, Mohali, to decide the dispute between the panchayats and an international firm, the developer of Quark City, on the ownership of 1,047-acre land in Mohali’s Majri block, where the latter’s super mega project was to come up. (Image for representational purpose)
The Punjab and Haryana high court has directed the commissioner, panchayat, Mohali, to decide the dispute between the panchayats and an international firm, the developer of Quark City, on the ownership of 1,047-acre land in Mohali’s Majri block, where the latter’s super mega project was to come up. (Image for representational purpose)

The bench of Justice Sureshwar Singh Thakur also said that status quo would prevail on the possession of the land till the time the commissioner does not decide the firm’s plea. Commissioner, panchayat, is the appellate authority under the Punjab Village Common Land (Regulation) Act, 1961, to deal with issues arising out of common land in villages between different parties.

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The project belongs to M/s Fauja Singh Infrastructure Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of M/s FE Holdings Mauritius Limited, which came in Punjab in 1999 and developed Quark City, an information technology special economic zone, in Mohali industrial area’s Phase 8.

The firm had moved high court challenging the government’s July 29, 2022, attempt to take possession of the Majri block land. The firm had invested 10,000 crore in Punjab and provided 35,000 jobs in just 51 acres of development. The Quark City project alone had resulted in 1,000-crore investment, with overall exports of 2,500 crore in the past over 20 years, the firm had stated.

As per the record before the court, the firm had bought the 1,047-acre land in Majri block’s Chotti Badi Naggal village for a super mega project through a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Punjab government. Under the pact, they were to develop the project in two phases between 1999 and 2005. Industrial parks, integrated townships, besides eco and agro-tourism projects, among others, were planned as part of the project.

Initially, there were no objections about the revenue record and the firm was recorded as owner. However, the village panchayat raised a dispute in 2010. After 11 years, the local commissioner decided in the panchayat’s favour in 2021 and notified the decision in June 2022.

On July 29, 2022, the state authorities suddenly tried to take forcible possession of the land pursuant to the decision, which was challenged by the firm and secured a status quo, as per senior advocate Chetan Mittal, who had appeared for the firm.

Mittal said that appeal against the collector’s decision is pending with the appellate authority and in view of this, the appeal was withdrawn from the high court.

The high court has now disposed of the plea with the order that status quo be maintained till the time appellate authority passes an order on the claim of title, which the collector had decided in the favour of the panchayat.

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