Consensus reached, High Court orders de-sealing of BJP leader Devinder Singh Babla’s farmhouse : The Tribune India

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Consensus reached, High Court orders de-sealing of BJP leader Devinder Singh Babla’s farmhouse

BJP leader to be issued fresh show-cause notice over illegal construction

Consensus reached, High Court orders de-sealing of BJP leader Devinder Singh Babla’s farmhouse

Punjab and Haryana High Court



Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 28

The Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued an order for the de-sealing of the farmhouse belonging to BJP leader Devinder Singh Babla following a consensus reached during the court proceedings.

The decision, rendered by the Bench of Justice Arun Palli and Justice Vikram Aggarwal, stems from Babla’s petition against the state of Punjab and other respondents.

It was agreed that a fresh show-cause notice regarding unauthorised construction would be issued to Babla. He would also be given an opportunity to respond before any formal orders were passed.

Similarly, Babla would be served a notice regarding the alleged misuse of the premises for commercial activities under the guise of eco-tourism, and he would be heard before any further action was taken.

In the petition, Babla had challenged an order dated February 19 issued by the Chief Administrator of Greater Mohali Area Development Authority, alleging it to be unfair, illegal and arbitrary. He sought relief under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, contending that the order, which led to the sealing of his farmhouse, was devoid of substantial evidence and violated constitutional provisions.

The Bench observed that even though a show-cause notice regarding unauthorised construction purportedly raised by the petitioner at his farm in Parol village was served upon him, the competent authority would issue a fresh notice in this regard. After affording due and adequate opportunity to submit response, the petitioner would also be heard before any formal orders were passed.

“In so far as the alleged misuser: that under the garb of eco-tourism, the petitioner was using the premises/infrastructure that is created at the farm for commercial activities, it is fairly conceded that since no show-cause notice was ever served upon the petitioner in this regard, he would be issued a notice to show cause even regarding the misuser. And, after affording an opportunity to respond/submit reply, he would be heard by the competent authority before passing any orders, if so advised,” the Bench observed.

It was also clarified that the matter regarding both violations, unauthorised construction and alleged “misuser” of the site, would be determined in accordance with law. “Since in the given circumstances, the impugned order, pursuant whereto the farmhouse of the petitioner was sealed, pales into insignificance, the same be deemed to have been withdrawn. Accordingly, we direct the authorities to de-seal the farmhouse forthwith,” the Bench asserted.

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