Raj HC | Appeal against interim order directing charges to be paid for conversion of land use dismissed where Single Judge already examined all contentious issues

Rajasthan High Court: A Division Bench of Mohammad Rafiq and Goverdhan Bardhar, JJ. dismissed this appeal and upheld the judgment of learned single judge of High Court. Appeal was filed where the appellant was ordered to pay an amount of Rs 5 crore to the respondent as charges for conversion of land use.

The appellant purchased the land in dispute by sale deed from Assam Ram Flour Mills. That land was earlier used for industrial purpose but on an application filed by Assam Flour Mills, an order was passed by District Collector under Rule 14(1) of Rajasthan Industrial Areas Allotment Rules, 1959 changing the use of land from industrial to agricultural on certain conditions, one of which was that a company in order to make use of same land for non-agricultural purpose would require permission from local body, and would also need to deposit conversion charges for the same. Accordingly, the appellant-company filed an application with the respondent authority requesting for the conversion of land use from industrial to agricultural. An application was also filed by the appellant-company for mutation of the said land in its name, but simultaneously a lease deed was executed in its name. The objection was raised by the audit department for not charging the required conversion charges.

The appellants represented by R.K. Agarwal, Sunita Pareek and Adhiraj Modi, argued that Assam Rolling Flour Mills applied for conversion of land from industrial to agricultural The appellant had no role to play in the conversion of land use. Thus, asking the appellant to pay such a huge amount after ten years all of a sudden was illegal and arbitrary.

The respondent, Jaipur Development Authority, represented by Amit Kuri and Saloni Khatri, had submitted an undertaking and was fully aware of the requirement of payment of charges for conversion of land use.

The Court relied on the reasoning of Single Judge of High Court and said an examination of all the contentious issues was done before learned Single Judge. The total amount which is demanded by JDA with interest exceeds Rs 20 crores so only asking for 5 crores deposit to JDA is reasonable. Even respondent JDA was also liable to refund the aforesaid amount which was asked in excess.

The Court did not find any merit in the appeal and going through facts and circumstances of the case directed the writ petition to be listed at hearing from the admission stage before Single Judge Bench on 20-01-2020. [Sun City Project Pvt. Ltd. v. Jaipur Development Authority, 2019 SCC OnLine Raj 3962, decided on 04-11-2019]

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