70 Haryana projects under lens after High Court order

Were delicensed and then relicensed, most of them before 2014, to allow new projects

70 Haryana projects under lens after High Court order

Ambience Mall at Gurugram. Tribune photo: S Chandan

Geetanjali Gayatri

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9

Real estate developers of 70-odd projects in Haryana could be in the soup in view of the Punjab and Haryana High Court order declaring the Ambience Mall in Gurugram “unauthorised” since it had come up on a de-licensed portion of over 18 acres of land originally meant for a residential complex.

Sources said the government, following the court order, had begun to compile a list of all such projects where portions were delicensed and subsequently relicensed to allow a new project. A total of 2,000 licences were issued of which the government has so far identified nearly 70 such projects. The process of identifying such projects is taking time since each file has to be thoroughly studied. Sources said the total tally could be 80.

According to sources, most projects were delicensed and relicensed before 2014 and 18 after 2014 when the BJP formed government in Haryana. Sources in the government say the High Court directions to the government in the Ambience Mall case could mean it may have to be demolished, unless the builder approaches the Supreme court.

However, the government maintains that though the Haryana Urban (Regulation and Development) Act does not provide for delicensing, the General Clauses Act gives the government the power to undo what it can do. “By virtue of that, if the government can issue a licence, it can also delicence a project partially or completely. The big catch is that after doing so, the project should have changed hands. There is no third-party interest in any of the projects identified so far,” sources say, drawing strength from a 2016 order which states that what the law does not permit, it does not prohibit either.

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