PRANAB KUMAR CHATTOPADHYAY, J.
(1). INSTANT appeal has been preferred at the instance of the state of West Bengal and other senior officers of the Urban development Department, Government of West Bengal challenging the final decisions of the learned Single Judge in the writ petition filed on behalf of the respondents herein.
(2). THE appellants herein challenged the judgment and order passed by the learned Single Judge on various grounds mentioned in the Memorandum of Appeal although at the time of hearing of the appeal learned Counsel representing the appellants urged only one issue before this court that the learned Single Judge should not have held that the decision of the Principal Secretary, Urban development Department as recorded in the note dated 18th November, 2006 for reviewing the earlier decision of the Government of West bengal dated May 19, 2006 cannot be regarded as personal views of the said Principal Secretary and the same should be regarded as the decision of the Government of West Bengal.
(3). ON examination of the various documents available before this court we find that by an instrument dated September 10, 1985 the government of West Bengal leased out the concerned plot to the respondents for setting up the small-scale industry for the purpose of manufacturing spice and curry powder. However, the said industry was not set up and the allottee requested the concerned authority of the Government of West Bengal to allow the change of use of the allotted plot for the purpose of constructing a hotel. The appellant No. 3 by a written communication dated 1st September, 2004 informed the respondents/writ petitioners regarding approval of the change of use of the plot in question for the purpose of setting up a hotel subject to submission of certain documents.
(4). SUBSEQUENTLY, the Urban Development Department, Government of west Bengal issued a notification on 6th May, 2005 wherein it has been clearly mentioned that the Governor has been pleased in terms of Clause 2 (d) of the lease deed to order that the Government of west Bengal shall allow the lessee to change the old project for which the land was allotted subject to observations of certain formalities.
(5). ULTIMATELY, by the subsequent written communication dated 19th may, 2006, the said appellant No. 3 informed the respondents/writ petitioners herein that the Governor has been pleased to allow the said respondents/writ petitioners to utilise the plot in question for the purpose of setting up a hotel subject to execution of a deed of Rectification in respect of the land use purpose of the lease deed dated 10th September, 1985. The said letter dated 19th may, 2006 is set out hereunder:
(6). THE Principal Secretary, however, in his note dated 18th november, 2006 proposed to review the aforesaid decision of the government of West Bengal in order to prevent the allottee to run the hotel in the plot in question. The relevant portion of the aforesaid note of the Principal Secretary is quoted hereunder: 'it has been argued that hotel is designated as industry and hence can be taken up on plotsmeant for industrial use. Treating hotel as anindustry is for the purpose of getting licenses and NOC. But as far as the land use is concerned, hotel cannot come up on a plotmeant for industrial use. If this logic isaccepted then the allottees of many industrial plots can approach for change of use in orderto set up hotels and legally speaking, they cannot be denied the facilities in such case as it will amount to discrimination. Hence, aplot meant for industrial use cannot or should not be permitted to be utilised for hotel purposes. Hence, it is submitted that the decisiontaken in this regard should be reviewed and the allottee asked to take up any industrial activities in the plot allotted in his favourand not a hotel. For consideration. Sd/-Principal Secretary'
(7). FROM the recorded noting it does not appear that the aforesaid views of the Principal Secretary was accepted by the minister-in-Charge and any formal decision of the Government of west Bengal was taken. The Minister-in-Charge of the concerned department only discussed the issue but did not record the acceptance of the note of the Principal Secretary.
(8). THE learned Single Judge, therefore, was justified in holding that the Principal Secretary recorded his views in the note without any basis. The Principal Secretary, most surprisingly, suggested that the hotel should be treated as an industry only for the purpose of getting licences and no-objection certificates but the hotel cannot come up on a plot meant for industrial use. The learned Single Judge, in our opinion, has rightly held that the principal Secretary recorded his views in the note without any legal basis whatsoever.
(9). FROM the materials on record we do not find that the government of West Bengal ever took any decision that a hotel should be treated as an industry only for the purpose of licences and no-objection certificates although such hotel cannot come on a plot meant for industrial use. Unfortunately, the Principal secretary, Urban Development Department in his note dated 18th november, 2006 expressed an opinion for reviewing the earlier decision of the Government dated 19th May, 2006 even in absence of any specific decision of the Government of West Bengal that no hotel should come up on a plot meant for industrial use even though the hotel should be treated as an industry for the purpose of granting licences and no-objection certificates.
(10). THE learned Single Judge is, therefore, quite justified in holding that there was no policy decision of the Government which would not permit use of the plot in question for setting up of a hotel.
(11). IN the aforesaid circumstances, we do not find any merit in the aforesaid argument advanced on behalf of the appellants herein.
(12). MR. Saktinath Mukherjee, learned Senior Counsel representing the respondents/writ petitioners submits that permission was granted in terms of the notification dated 6th May, 2005 to the respondents/writ petitioners to change the original purpose of allotment subject to payment of fees and such decision was communicated to the said respondents/writ petitioners. In terms of the aforesaid notification, necessary amount was also collected from the respondents/writ petitioners. For omission to modify the lease deed, respondents/writ petitioners herein filed another writ petition before this court and the same is still pending for final adjudication.
(13). MR. Mukherejee also submits that in the meantime, Bidhannagar municipality accorded sanction of the building plan and building has already been constructed by the respondents/writ petitioners for setting up of a hotel. In the aforesaid circumstances, the learned Senior Counsel representing the respondents/writ petitioners submits that permission already granted pursuant to the notification dated 6th May, 2005 issued by the Government of west Bengal cannot be invalidated by the subsequent decision as mentioned in the letter of cancellation dated 2nd January, 2007. Mr. Mukherjee further submits that there is, however, no decision of the Government to override or supersede the notification dated 6th May, 2005 and nothing has also been mentioned in this regard in the letter of cancellation dated 2nd January, 2007.
(14). WE find merit in the aforesaid submissions of Mr. Mukherjee and we also hold that the permission granted in favour of the respondents/writ petitioners to set up a hotel on the plot of land in question in terms of the notification dated 6th May, 2005 and subsequent order dated 19th May, 2006 cannot be invalidated by any subsequent decision although in the facts of the present case, no such decision with retrospective effect was issued by the competent authority of the Government of West Bengal. Mr. Mukherjee further submits that the Government of West Bengal has permitted International Tower to set up a hotel in the heart of salt Lake Electronics Complex in Sector-V area although an arbitrary decision has been taken in respect of the project of the respondents/writ petitioners for setting up a hotel in the same area. According to Mr. Mukherjee, Government of West Bengal has sought to discriminate the respondents/writ petitioners in the matter of setting up of a hotel in Sector-V area in absence of any valid reason.
(15). THE aforesaid contentions made on behalf of the respondents/writ petitioners have not been disputed by the learned counsel representing the State-respondents.
(16). FOR th
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e aforementioned reasons, we are of the opinion that the issues raised in the writ petition have been decided by the learned Single Judge in an appropriate manner and strictly in accordance with law. (17). WE also do not find any material irregularity and/or illegality in the judgment and order under appeal passed by the learned Single Judge. Therefore, we affirm the decisions of the said learned Single Judge as recorded in the judgment and order under appeal and dismiss the instant appeal being devoid of any merit. (18). THE appellants herein are directed to take all necessary steps in compliance with the decisions of the learned Single Judge as specifically mentioned in the judgment and order under appeal without any further delay but positively within a period of four weeks from the date of communication of this order. (19). IN the facts and circumstances of this case, there will be, however, no order as to costs.