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M/s. MSD Real Estate LLP v/s The Municipal Corporation, Indore & Others

    Writ Petition No. 17042 of 2020

    Decided On, 06 November 2020

    At, High Court of Madhya Pradesh Bench at Indore

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE S. C. SHARMA & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE SHAILENDRA SHUKLA

    For the Petitioner: Veer Kumar Jain, Learned Senior Counsel, Atul Gupta, Learned Counsel. For the Respondents: Purushaindra Kaurav, Learned Senior Counsel, Rishi Tiwari, Learned Counsel, Pushyamitra Bhargava, Learned Additional Advocate General.



Judgment Text

1. The petitioner before this Court has filed this present petition being aggrieved by orders dated 27/06/2020 (Annex.-P/27), 25/07/2020 (Annex.-P/28), 28/07/2020 (Annex.-P/29) and 22/10/2020 (Annex.-P/32) passed by respondents.2. Shri Jain, learned Senior Counsel has argued before this Court that the land in question was given by His Highness The Maharaja Holkar of Indore to Capt. H. C. Dhanda vide gift deed dated 23/04/1946 by Huzur Shree Shankar Order No.58. The map is also enclosed along with the order passed by the Holkar State. The total area of the land is 1,08,900 square feet. The same was published in official Gazette also by the Holkar State, meaning thereby, the land was given to the predecessor in title of the petitioner during pre- independence era by the then ruler of the erstwhile Holkar State. The aforesaid fact is not a disputed fact.3. The petitioner's contention is that large number of cases were filed in respect of the land in question, building permission was granted in the year 1949 and a hotel was constructed known as "Lantern Hotel". In the year 1952 again building permission was granted and in the year 1954 compounding was done.4. It has been further stated that a dispute again arose in respect of mutation of land as it was mutated in the name of Trust i.e. "H. C. Dhanda Trust" and a writ petition was allowed by this Court vide order dated 26/08/2009 passed in Writ Petition No.5111/2009.5. It has been further stated that the matter relating to stamp duty has also been adjudicated by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in Civil Appeal No.3195-3196 of 2000 (Trustees of H. C. Dhanda Trust Vs. State of Madhya Pradesh and Others) vide judgment dated 17/09/2020 and a penalty inflicted by the State Government to the tune of Rs.12,80,97,000/- was reduced to Rs.6,40,48,500/-. The aforesaid penalty has also been paid in the matter.6. It has also been been stated that Shri Dhanda has sold the property later on to the petitioner Company vide sale deed dated 23/11/2019, mutation was also done in favour of the petitioner Company, however, the same was cancelled as stamp duty was not paid in the matter.7. As already stated earlier, the issue of stamp duty has come to an end and the stamp duty has been paid, the petitioner's grievance is that now the Municipal Corporation has taken a stand after about 74 years that the property belongs to Indore Municipal Corporation and the proceedings have been initiated under the Madhya Pradesh Lok Parisar (Bedakhali) Adhiniyam, 1974 and a notice has been issued on 22/10/2020.8. Learned Senior Counsel has argued before this Court that the petitioner and the predecessor in title were in possession of the property in question. It was received by them through a valid gift deed by the erstwhile Maharaja of Holkar State and now after 74 years the Municipal Corporation is claiming its title over the land. He has argued that in case the title is being claimed by Municipal Corporation or by the State Government, it cannot be decided by an executive fiat by passing an order, a civil suit has to be filed, if any. He has stated that merely by passing an executive order, the Municipal Corporation does not become the title holder of the property and prayed for grant of interim relief.9. On the other hand, learned Senior Counsel Shri Purushaindra Kaurav along with Shri Rishi Tiwari, appearing on behalf of Indore Municipal Corporation has argued before this Court that the land was initially of the Municipal Corporation and it could not have been gifted by Maharaja of Holkar State prior to independence and therefore, the Municipal Corporation is claiming the land after 74 years. He has also argued that the land mentioned in the gift deed is a different land than the land over which the petitioner is in possession, however, he was fair enough in informing this Court that no demarcation of any kind has taken place to identify the land. It has also been argued that in the notice issued under the Madhya Pradesh Lok Parisar (Bedakhali) Adhiniyam, 1974 the date given is 23/11/2020 and the petitioner can very well file a reply and state all facts before the Competent Authority.10. It has also been stated that the petition against show cause notice is not maintainable and he has placed reliance upon a judgment delivered in the case of Union of India Vs. Kunisetty Satyanarayana reported in 2006 (12) SCC 28, wherein it has been held that petitions are not maintainable against show cause notices. He has also argued that the petition involves disputed question of facts and therefore, it should be dismissed summarily. It has also been argued that the petitioner be directed to approach the civil Court.11. Heard learned counsel for parties on the question of grant of interim relief.12. The undisputed facts reveal that the Maharaja of erstwhile Holkar State has gifted the land to the predecessor in title on 23/04/1946. Capt. H. C. Dhanda was gifted the land and thereafter, his legal heirs continued to be in possession of the land right from the year 1946. There are number of cases fought before this Court in respect of the land in question, whether it was case in respect of building permission, whether it was case for mutation or whether it was case for stamp duty and in most of the cases the Indore Municipal Corporation and State Government were parties and in none of the case it was stated by the Indore Municipal Corporation or by the State Government that they are the title holder of the property.13. It is true that the present petition is basically against a show cause notice issued under the Madhya Pradesh Lok Parisar (Bedakhali) Adhiniyam, 1974 but the fact is that the notice has been issued under the Adhiniyam of 1974 only after the Indore Municipal Corporation has started stating that it is the title holder of the property, meaning thereby, by declaring themselves to be the title holder of the property the show cause notice has been issued and therefore, the judgment relied upon in the case of Kunisetty Satyanarayana (Supra) is of no help to the respondent.14. This Court, as the Municipal Corporation has gone to the extent in deciding the title suit by passing executive order which is unheard of and also keeping in view the fact that the petitioner

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and predecessor in title are in possession of the land for the last 74 years, is of the considered opinion that the petitioner has been able to make out a prima-facie case for grant of interim relief.15. Resultantly, the operations of the impugned orders dated 27/06/2020 (Annex.-P/27), 25/07/2020 (Annex.-P/28), 28/07/2020 (Annex.-P/29) and 22/10/2020 (Annex.-P/32) are stayed, till the next date of hearing.16. Learned counsel for the petitioner has informed this Court that complete set of documents have been handed over to all the parties and therefore, the respondents are granted four weeks time to file detailed reply in the matter.List the matter on 18/12/2020.Certified copy as per rules.
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