w w w . L a w y e r S e r v i c e s . i n



State of Andhra Pradesh v/s Industrial Development Bank

    Writ Appeal No. 7 of 2009

    Decided On, 15 February 2022

    At, High Court of for the State of Telangana

    By, THE HONOURABLE CHIEF JUSTICE MR. SATISH CHANDRA SHARMA & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE ABHINAND KUMAR SHAVILI

    For the Petitioner: ----- For the Respondent: ------



Judgment Text

Satish Chandra Sharma, J.

The present writ appeal is arising out of order dated 13.11.2008 passed in W.P.No.4926 of 2008 by the learned Single Judge.

The undisputed facts of the case reveal that Industrial Development Bank of India, a Government Banking Company registered under the Companies Act, 1956 has filed the writ petition in the year 2008 and later on, the name of the petitioner company was changed to IDBI Bank Limited after following the due process of law as provided under the Companies Act, 1956.

During the pendency of the writ appeal, an application was filed by the writ petitioner/respondent in the writ appeal for amendment and in place of Industrial Development Bank of India to IDBI Bank Limited has been substituted. The factum of change of name has also been recognized by the Reserve Bank of India, vide order dated 08.09.2008. The change in the name took place on account of the fact that the Life Insurance Company of India has acquired major share holdings in the writ petitioner/respondent Bank and now it is known as IDBI Bank Limited (for short, “the Bank”). The facts further reveal that the Bank at the time when it was completely owned and controlled by the Government of India, in order to establish a staff college, training centre and other buildings for catering to the development of the employees of the petitioner Bank, other Banks as well as foreign banks, was in need of land in the township of Hyderabad and therefore, an application was made to the State Government for allotment of land.

The facts of the case further reveal that an application was made for allotment of Acs.100.00 of land. However, Acs.50.00 of land was allotted by the State Government to the Bank vide G.O.Ms.No.895, dated 16.09.1987 and the same reads as under:

“GOVERNMENT OF ANDHRA PRADESH ABSTRACT

ALIENATION - Land- Ranga Reddy District - Serilingampally Mandal - Gachibowli village - S.No. 91 to an extent of Ac. 50- 00 in favour of the Industrial Development Bank of India, Hyderabad - Orders - Issued.

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REVENUE (Q) DEPARTMENT

G.O.Ms.No.895 Dated: 16-9-1987

Read the following:

1. From the Commissioner of Land Revenue, Hyderabad letter No.BB1/230/87 dt., 20.4.1987.

ORDER:

In the circumstances reported by Commissioner of Land Revenue, Hyderabad in the reference 1st read above, Government accord sanction for alienation of land measuring to an extent of Acs. 50-00 (fifty acres) in Sy.No.91 of Gachibowli village, Serilingampally Mandal, Rangareddy District in favour of the Industrial Development Bank of India, Hyderabad for establishment of the International Training Institute of Development Banking on payment of market value at Rs. 25,000/- (Rupees Twenty five thousand only) per acre in relaxation of the orders. issued in G.O.Ms.No.1409 Revenue dt. 5-5-1982 and also the orders. issued in G.O.Ms.No.696, Revenue dt. 24-6-1985 read with G.O.Ms.No.911, revenue dt. 1.8.1985 and also G.O.Ms.No.700, Revenue dt. 20.6.1986.

2. The Collector, Ranga Reddy District is requested to take necessary further action in the matter accordingly.

3. The record of enquiry of Collector, received from the Commissioner of Land Revenue, Hyderabad is returned herewith to the Collector and he is requested to acknowledge the receipt of the same.

(BY ORDER AND IN THE NAME OF THE GOVERNOR OF ANDHRA PRADESH)

T.MUNIVENKATAPPA,

SECRETARY TO GOVERNMENT.”

The Bank thereafter carried out the construction activities. The another important aspect of the case is that the allotment of the land was not without any consideration. The land was allotted to the Bank on payment of market value. Meaning thereby, the State Government has not done any charity to the Bank and has charged market value prevailing in the year 1987 while allotting Ac.50.00 of land. The Bank has established training centre besides other complex and carried out plantation and a boundary wall has also been constructed in order to secure its premises. The Bank was shocked to receive notice dated 10.12.2007 delivered to the Bank on 17.12.2007 advising them to handover Ac.10.00 of land out of Ac.50.00 allotted to them. The notice, which has been filed along with the writ petition, is reproduced as under:

“GOVERNMENT OF ANDHRA PRADESH

REVENUE DEPARTMENT

Office of the Tahsildar

(Deputy Collector Cadre)

Serilingampally Mandal

No.B/1045/2007 Dated: 10.12.2007

NOTICE

Sub: Alienation – R.R. District – Serilingampally Mandal – Gachibowli (Vg) – Sy.No.91 – Ac.50.00 gts – Allotted to JNIDB – Identification of unutilized land of Ac.10.00 gts – Resumption of land – Reg.

Ref:- 1. G.O.Ms.No.985, Revenue Department, dt. 16.09.1987.

2. Instructions of District Collector, Lr.No.LCI/16308/2007, dated 30.11.2007.

*****

During the inspection of lands allotted/alienated to the organizations it is noticed that part of the extents allotted are under utilization by way of constructing buildings and part of the extents are being left unutilized. In the same manner an extent of Ac.20.00 gts land is found as idle unused vacant land out of the land Ac.50.00 gts allotted in the premises of JNIDB, Gochibowli Village, Serilingampally Mandal.

There is dire necessity of vacant Government land required for public purposes. Vide reference 2nd cited instructions issued by the District Collector, to resume an extent of Ac.10.00 gts in Sy.No.91, Gachibowli Village out of Ac.50.00 gts allotted land from JNIDB, Gachibowli Village, Serilingampally Mandal, Ranga Reddy district to allot the same in favour of Commissioner & Inspector General, Registration and Stamps, A.P., Hyderabad for accommodating there Head Quarter offices.

Therefore, you are hereby requested to handover an extent of Ac.10.00 gts vacant land to the undersigned along with sketch showing the utilization of balance land allotted to JNIDB.

Tahsildar

(Deputy Collector Cadre)

Serilingampally Mandal.

To

The Director,

JNIDB,

Gachibowli Village,

Serilingampally Mandal,

Ranga Reddy district.

Copy submitted to the Collector, Ranga Reddy district for information.”

The aforesaid notice reflects that the Tahsildar, Sharlingampally Mandal has carried out some inspection in respect of the premises, which was allotted to the Bank on payment of consideration at the market rate, and after carrying out some unilateral inspection, he has arrived at a conclusion that Ac.20.00 of land is found as surplus vacant land and unused land and therefore, the Bank was directed to handover Ac.10.00 of land back to the State Government. Though the aforesaid notice is captioned as notice, in fact, it is an order directing the Bank to handover possession of Ac.10.00 of land. The same Tahsildar thereafter, without waiting for any reply, has passed an order on 27.12.2007 holding that he has resumed Ac.10.00 of land in Sy.No.91 of Gachibowli Village from the respondent Bank. The order passed by the Tahsildar, dated 27.12.2007, is reproduced as under:

“PROCEEDINGS THE TAHSILDAR (Deputy Collector Cadre) SERILINGAMPALLY MANDAL, RANGA REDDY DISTRICT

Present: Smt. T.K. Ramamani

Procgs.No.B/1045/2007 Dt. 27.12.2007

Sub: Alienations - RR District - Serilingampally Mandal - Gachibowli Village – Sy.No.91 extent Ac 50-00 Gts alienated in favor JNIDB - Unutilized land extent Ac.10.00 gts by JNIDB – Resumption of unutilized land – Orders – Issued.

Ref::- 1. G.O.Ms.No.985, Revenue Department dt: 16.09.87.

2. Tahsildar, Serilingampally Notice No.B/1045/07, dt: 10.12.07.

ORDER:

The Government vide G.O.Ms.No.985, Revenue Department dated 16-09-1987 have orders allotment of Ac.50-00 Gts Government land in Sy.No.91 of Gachibowli Village, Serilingampally Mandal, Ranga Reddy District in favor of Jawaharlal Nehru Institute for Development and Banking.

The Mandal Surveyor, Serilingampally Mandal has submitted a sketch showing an extent of Ac.20-00 Gts of land in Sy.No.91 of Gachibowli Village allotted to JNIDB is found vacant as unutilized. A notice was issued vide ref 2nd cited to INIDB regarding the available of land un-utilized and lying vacant with them, which was served on them 17.12.2007. Even after lapse of more than 1 week no objection has been received from the authorities of the JNIDB.

Therefore, it is ordered for resumption of un-utilized land lying vacant to an extent of Ac.10-00 gts in Sy.No.91 of Gachibowli Village from Jawaharlal Nehru Institute for Development and Banking. The Mandal Revenue Inspector, Serilingampally is hereby directed to resume the above land from JNIDB under cover of panchanama and report compliance.

Tahsildar

(Deputy Collector Cadre)

Serilingampally Mandal

To

The Director,

JNIDB, Gachibowli,

Serilingampally Mandal.”

The writ petitioner/respondent Bank in the writ appeal immediately preferred a writ petition being aggrieved by the aforesaid order and the learned Single Judge has allowed the writ petition. The order passed by the learned Single Judge reads as under:

“While so, the petitioner states that it was surprised to receive a notice bearing No.B/1045/2007, dated 10.12.2007, which was delivered to it on 17.12.2007, advising them to hand over Acs.10.00 of vacant land out of Acs.50.00 allotted to them on the assumption that the petitioner is in possession of Acs.20.00 excess vacant land, and on the ground that the said land is required for public purpose, without indicating the time within which explanation/objections have to be submitted. However, even before the petitioner could submit its reply/objections, vide proceedings dated 27.12.2007, the Tahsildar, Serilingampally Mandal, passed an order in a summary way for resumption of alleged unutilized land to an extent of Acs.10.00 in Sy. No.91 of Gachibowli village.

The petitioner states that it has plans to make use of the unutilized land, and that it has appointed the Central Public Works Department to undertake the project management consultancy relating to the proposed expansion of infrastructure facilities of the Apex Level Unit as early as in the month of June, 2007, and that it has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding on 22.01.2008, and as requested by the Central Public Works Department, they also deposited an amount Rs.50,00,000/-.

The learned counsel for the petitioner submits that on the request made by the petitioner to allot Acs.100.00 of land, the Government, vide G.O.Ms.No.895, Revenue (Q) Department. 16.09.1987, had allotted only Acs.50.00 of land, at market value, for establishing an International Training Institute of Banking. The petitioner having taken possession of the land, has established therein Jawaharlal Nehru Industrial Development Bank of India, a premier and prestigious International Training Institute. He submitted that the G.O. under which the petitioner was allotted the land, stipulates that the government may resume the land wholly or in part with any buildings thereon, if it is required for public purpose or for conducting mining operations. However, the 6th respondent without ascertaining the facts and the requirements of the petitioner and without conducting any survey as to whether there remained any unutilized land, and if so, whether the same is required for the petitioner, has issued notice dated 10.12.2007, requesting the petitioner to handover an extent Acs.10.00 vacant land along with the sketch showing the utilization of balance land allotted to. He submitted that that the said order, which is styled as notice, does not stipulate any time limit within which period, the petitioner has to submit his explanation, and in fact, the 6th respondent by issuing the said order and asking the petitioner to handover the extent of land mentioned therein, has even before the petitioner submitting his explanation to the same, has pre-determined that the said extent of land would be resumed to the government. He submitted that even before the petitioner could submit his explanation to the said notice, the 6th respondent has passed final orders dated 27.12.2007, resuming the unutilized land lying vacant to an extent of Acs.10.00, which is not only illegal and arbitrary, but violative of the principles of natural justice.

He submitted that the land allotted to the petitioner, is surrounded by a compound wall with security personnel installed at the Entrance Gate, and no person is allowed to enter into the premises of the Institute, and even though permission was denied to the respondents authorities to enter into the land, yet the Mandal Surveyor, has submitted his report stating that an extent of Acs.20.00 of land remained vacant and unutilized, which is not correct, and therefore, the impugned order passed by the 6th respondent, on the basis of the said report, resuming the land without ascertaining the requirements and needs of the petitioner, has to be declared as illegal and arbitrary and set aside, and more so when the petitioner had utilized most part of the Acs.50.00 of land allotted to it, and has even entered into Memorandum of Understanding for developing and making use of the balance unutilized land.

The 6th respondent, namely the Tahsildar. Serilingampally filed counter. The learned Assistant Government Pleader for Revenue appearing on behalf of the respondents while reiterating the counter averments submitted that a learned Judge of this Court in W.P. No.4312 of 2007, filed by Sumithranagar Welfare Association, by order dated 19.04.2007, took notice of the fact that most of the governments are housed in private buildings, directed the Government to identify the land and monitor the progress of identification of the lands and allotment. Since the petitioner has not made use of the land allotted to it, and an extent of Acs.20.00 of land remained vacant, the government have decided to resume an extent of Acs.10.00 of land in public interest, and allot the same to the Stamps and Registration Department to house its Head Quarters and Subordinate Offices, and accordingly, the government having resumed the said extent of Acs.10.00 of land from the petitioner on 28.12.2007 under a cover of panchanama handed over the same to the beneficiary, namely the Stamps and Registration Department on 05.01.2008. He submitted that Rule 6(3) of the A.P. (Telangana Area) Alienation of State Lands, 1975 and Clause 3 of the Conditions for the grant of State land, appended to G.O. Ms. No. 895, dated 16.09.1987 under which the petitioner was allotted the land, empower the government to resume the land if it is required for public purpose, without assigning any reason whatsoever.

He submitted that even though the land was resumed and levelled, the petitioner at no point of time, objected to the said levelling, and in fact, filed the present writ petition without making the beneficiary, namely the Stamps and Registration Department, a party to the writ petition. The Government, have also sanctioned an amount of Rs.40.00 lakhs to the Stamps and Registration Department for construction of its building.

He thus submitted that no fault can be found with the action of the 6th respondent in resuming the land and allotting the same to the Stamps and Registration Department for making use of the land for housing its Head Quarters and Subordinate Offices, and more so when the petitioner did not submit his explanation to the notice that preceded the impugned order. He thus prayed that the writ petition be dismissed.

Heard the learned counsel for the petitioner and the learned Assistant Government Pleader for Revenue for the respondents.

Though the petitioner, for the purpose of establishing an International Training Institute for Banking Development has requested the government to allot Acs.100.00 of land, the fact remains, the Government vide G.O. Ms. No. 895, dated 16.09.1987 had allotted only an extent of Acs.50.00 of land to the petitioner at market value. The petitioner, admittedly, established the International Training Institute for Banking Development, meeting international standards. The petitioner has created the infrastructure, as stated above, and in fact, is catering to the Banking Development by imparting training to not only to its staff, but all banking institutions in the country and abroad. For the petitioner, to maintain its international standards, it has to create lot of infrastructure, and in fact, has to provide an ambience and environment, which meets the institutional/educational standards, where one can learn and train himself in composed atmosphere. The institutes of international standards should be housed in open places and large extents of land, befitting their international status, and they, at any rate, cannot be housed in the midst of concrete jungles. Though the 6th respondent contends that there remains unutilized land with the petitioner, the material placed by the petitioner before the Court, shows that it has plans to expand its activities, and in fact, has appointed the Central Public Works Department, for creating more infrastructure to meet its growing needs, and has paid an amount of Rs.50,00,000/- for the said purpose.

Clause 3 of the Conditions for the Grant of State Land, appended to G.O. Ms. No. 895, dated 16.09.1987, which enables the Government to resume the land allotted to the petitioner reads thus:

“The Government may resume the land wholly or in part with any buildings thereon, if in the opinion of the Government the land is required for a public purpose or for conducting mining operations, in the event of such resumption or in the event of the acquisition of the land for any reason the compensation payable for the land and tress shall in no case exceed the amount paid for them by the grantees or their value at the time of resumption of acquisition whichever may, be less.”

Though the Government in terms of the above clause, is entitled to resume the land wholly or in part with any buildings thereon, for public purpose or for conducting mining operations, by paying compensation, the fact remains, the 6th respondent before passing the impugned order, resuming the alleged unutilized land, has not verified whether there exists any vacant land, and if so, whether it was required for the activities of the petitioner, and whether the public purpose for which the land is sought to be resumed, i.e. for providing land to the Stamps and Registration Department for housing its Head Quarters and Subordinate Offices, outclasses the interest of the petitioner, which is running an International Training Institute for Banking Development, and imparting training not only to the staff of the banking industry of the country, but also the world.

The 6th respondent, to justify his action, has merely relied on the order dated 19.04.2007 of a learned Judge of this Court, passed in W.P. No. 4312 of 2007. The learned single Judge, having considered the need to locate government offices in pucca and permanent buildings of their own, passed the following order:

(a) Within a period of one month from today, the Principal Secretary to Government (Revenue) shall require the information from the District Collectors about the offices of various departments of the Government functioning in the rented premises, including the offices of the departments of revenue, forest, transport, social welfare, education, medical and health, roads and buildings, irrigation, Courts etc.

(b) Such of the offices and establishments, which are likely to be continued for a period of 10 years and beyond shall be identified for being located in permanent government buildings.

(c) The assignment of government vacant lands within the limits of Municipal Corporations, Municipalities, Major and Minor Gram Panchayats, whenever the government offices mentioned in clause (b) are functioning in private buildings, shall stand frozen till appropriate allocation for such offices is made.

(d) Subject to availability of funds, necessary allocation shall be made for construction of buildings in the locations and areas so identified.

Having made the above directions, directed the writ petition to be listed for being mentioned on 18.06.2007 to verify the progress made in this regard.

From the above order, it is clear that the learned single Judge had merely directed the Principal Secretary to Government to collect information from the District Collectors, about the offices that are located in private buildings, and consider assignment of government vacant lands within the limits of Municipal Corporations, Municipalities, Major and Minor Gram Panchayals, for housing and locating the government departments and necessary allocation for construction of buildings, subject to availability of funds, be made. The learned Judge nowhere directed the respondents to take away the lands that were assigned to public institutions at market value and that too without notice to the said public institutions. The said order, by no stretch of imagination, can be taken to have given licence to the respondents to take away the lands already assigned to institutions for public purpose, without ascertaining their future needs. Therefore, reliance placed by the 6th respondent on the said order of the learned single Judge, is misplaced.

It is not the case of the 6th respondent that there is no government land available in the vicinity, and that the land which he sought to allot to the Stamps and Registration Department, is centrally located and is convenient to one and all, particularly the general public. If the 6th respondent required some part of the land of the petitioner, it should have informed the petitioner, and ascertained whether the unutilized land, was useful for it, whether it has any plans to make use of the same, and whether it can spare the same to the government, for allotting the same to some other Department. What all this Court directed in the said writ petition, was to identify vacant lands, but it never said that the lands already allotted for public purposes, and some parts of which are remained unutilized, should be resumed. However, without ascertaining the factual details, and the ground scenario, the 6th respondent has issued the impugned order dated 27.12.2007, resuming the land to an extent of Ac.10.00 to the government.

Though the impugned order indicates that notice dated 10.12.2007, was served on the petitioner on 17.10.2007, a reading of the same, would disclose that the same is in the nature of a final order, pre-determining that the petitioner has to handover the extent of land mentioned therein. The said notice, neither indicates the time within which the petitioner has to submit his explanation, nor calls upon the petitioner to show cause as to why an extent of Acs.10.00 of land, should not be resumed, but straight away calls the petitioner to handover the said extent of land. However, even before the petitioner could submit its explanation/objections to the said notice, the 6th respondent issued the impugned order, resuming the land. Since the impugned order, though preceded with a notice, which in fact, is in the nature of a final order, did not afford any opportunity to the petitioner to submit its explanation/objections, and sought to take away the rights of the petitioner in the said extent of land, the same cannot be sustained, for the same is not only illegal and arbitrary, but in its issuance, principles of natural justice are glaringly violated.

Even though the impugned order refers to the report of the Mandal Surveyor, Serilingampally, along with sketch, indicating the unutilized land in the possession of the petitioner, the fact remains, the respondents have not produced any such report before this Court, and on the other hand, it is the case of the petitioner that their land is surrounded by compound wall, and none, much less the officials of the 6th respondent, were permitted to enter the premises, much less to inspect the lands.

The manner in which the 6th respondent has resumed the alleged unutilized land of the petitioner, which was allotted to them at market value, under the impugned order, shows that the same has been passed mechanically, without surveying the extent of Unutilized land, ascertaining the requirements of the petitioner and the ground realities, the competing public interests of the petitioner and the allottee, and more importantly, without affording opportunity to put forth its case for non-resumption.

There is no doubt that the government is entitled to allot land to its various Departments for construction of their own buildings, but in doing so, they have to identify suitable vacant land which is centrally located and conveniently accessible to the general public, but certainly they cannot indulge in taking away the lands allotted to other public institutions for public use and purposes long back at market value, and that too without issuing any notice and without ascertaining as to whether the land allotted to them, was made use of them completely, and if any land remained unused, whether it would be used by the for the purpose for which it was allotted, and whether the unutilized land would be required for them for their future developments and expansion.

In the above view of the matter, the impugned orders passed by the 6th respondent resuming the alleged unutilized land allotted to the petitioner in an extent of Acs.10.00, cannot be sustained, and is liable to be set aside.

Hence, the writ petition is allowed. The impugned orders dated 10.12.2007 and 27.12.2007 passed by the 6th respondent are set aside. No costs.”

This Court has carefully gone through the order passed by the learned Single Judge and the same establishes that at no point of time any show cause n

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otice was issued to the writ petitioner seeking their explanation in respect of unutilized land, if any, and by issuing the so-called notice, which is, in fact, an order directing the Bank to handover possession of Ac.10.00 of land dated 10.12.2007, an order was passed by the Tahsildar dated 27.12.2007 for taking possession and resumption of unutilized land. The State Government before the learned Single Judge has placed heavy reliance upon G.O.Ms.No.895, dated 16.09.1987, which certainly provides for resumption of Government land. It is nobody’s case that the Bank has not utilized the land, which was allotted on payment of consideration at all. The petitioner Bank has established their institution over the land in question. They have developed the entire area, plantation has been carried out, the entire area is enclosed by a boundary wall and there appears to be no justification in resuming the land without following due process of law that too when consideration is received by the State Government at market value and therefore, in the considered opinion of this Court, the learned Single Judge was justified in allowing the writ petition preferred by the Bank. No statutory provision of law has been brought to the notice of this Court by the State Government, which entitles the State Government to resume the land, which has been allotted on payment of market value i.e., price of the land. The order of resumption also does not state that the State Government is refunding the price at the market value at the time the resumption proceedings have taken place subsequently. This Court does not find any reason to interfere with the order passed by the learned Single Judge. It is nobody’s case that the Bank is not utilizing the entire land allotted to them. The learned Single Judge has observed that the Bank has paid at the relevant point of time a sum of Rs.50 lakhs to the Central Public Works Department for creating more infrastructure to meet its growing need and the aforesaid fact is not disputed by the State of Telangana. Meaning thereby, heavy investment has been made by the Bank in respect of the unutilized area. The Bank on 02.12.2008 has paid Rs.3,27,20,100/- for grant of approval in respect of building plan for construction of 10 additional blocks (Auditorium, administrative block, training block, guest house, recreation block, dispensary, hostel and dining block, faculty accommodation, support staff quarters, members staff quarters and laundry). However, on account of the pending litigation, the Bank has not been able to complete the project. Resultantly, the writ appeal is allowed upholding the order passed by the learned Single Judge. The authorities involved in the matter for grant of various permissions shall expedite the matter enabling the Bank to complete the entire project. Miscellaneous petitions, if any, shall stand closed. There shall be no order as to costs.
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