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Lata questions govt notice on sale of property on her land

Lata Mangeshkar

Noted playback singer Lata Mangeshkar has moved the Bombay High Court challenging a notice issued to her

Lata MangeshkarMumbai: Noted playback singer Lata Mangeshkar has moved the Bombay High Court challenging a notice issued to her on January 4 this year by a state body saying that she had to obtain permission before selling any immovable property on her land in Kolhapur.

Mangeshkar has sought quashing and setting aside the January 4 notice issued by the Competent Authority under the Land Ceiling Act.

The state government sought time to file reply and the matter has been adjourned for hearing in December.

Mangeshkar owned land admeasuring 38,623 square metres in Kolhapur and wanted to give it to Vikesh Oswal for the development of residential and commercial tenements. However, Competent Authority under the Urban Land Ceiling (ULC) Act had declared 23,889 square metres land as surplus.

Mangeshkar then proposed a scheme under section 20 of ULC Act which was approved by authorities on July 2, 2007. The scheme envisaged giving some houses to government at subsided rates. However, she did not execute the scheme as ULC Act was repealed in November 2007, the petition, filed by her, said.

The singer executed an agreement with Oswal and also gave him a power of attorney in respect of development of that land in lieu of Rs 4.5 crore. By that agreement, Oswal secured the right to construct residential and commercial units and he procured Floor Space Index to build tenements on that land in order to sell them.

Kolhapur Municipal Corporation also gave its sanction to construct the residential and commercial tenements on the said land.

Meanwhile, the Competent Authority under ULC Act gave a notice to Mangeshkar on October 20 last year asking her why she had not implemented the scheme proposed by her under section 20 of ULC Act.

The singer replied that the issue of validity of section 20 of ULC Act was pending in the Bombay High Court and she would reply only after this was decided.

The Competent Authority issued another notice to Mangeshkar saying in case she wanted to sell any property on her land, she would have to obtain its permission.
The notice also mentioned that she had not given report about the completion of the scheme proposed by her under section 20 of the ULC Act. Besides, she had not applied for extension of the period of the scheme as it had already expired.

The notice further said that Mangeshkar had not given five houses at subsidised rates to the persons nominated by the government as provided under the said scheme.

However, Mangeshkar challenged the notice in her petition contending that after the repeal of ULC Act, the Competent Authority did not remain into existence and hence the scheme under section 20 of the Act became unenforceable. Hence, it did not confer powers on the competent authority to penalise her.


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