Supreme Court: Coming down heavily upon Haryana Government for auctioning 558.53 hectares of land for mining purposes, though the available area was only 141.76 hectares, the bench of Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta, JJ said:

“”You cannot go on making fool of the citizens like this. You are the state and it is your responsibility to ensure that what was advertised should be given.”

Observing that the petitioner firm was entitled to a refund of the deposited amount, the Court directed the state to refund the money the firm along with 9 per cent interest per annum from the date of deposit till the date of payment, keeping in view the “vast discrepancy” of area mentioned in the advertisement and area of land made available.

When the counsel for Haryana said it was the duty of the company to ascertain whether the land was actually 558.53 hectares, an annoyed bench said “it is very easy to blame the citizens for everything just because you are in power”. The bench said:

“The public notice was for 558.53 hectares. How can you give only 141.76 hectres and say it is the duty of applicant to verify this.”

Source: PTI

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