Real Estate Chandigarh

Residential and Commercial properties in Chandigarh..

24 April 2007

One house, 2 VIP claimants

It is a fight between VIPs, who have got involved in gaining control, or rather taking possession, of a palatial ministerial bungalow spread over more than 1 acre in the posh locality of sector 2 here. In this turf war, on the one side is deputy speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha Satpal Gosain and on the other officials of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Interestingly, both parties hold separate allotment letters for the same house and each of them claims to be the rightful allottee.

Gosain, who was at the house this morning, flashed a copy of the orders issued by Punjab chief secretary Ramesh Inder Singh, dated April 4 ,which said that house number 8, sector 2, had been allotted to him (Gosain). “It is not my fault and I will not budge from here. Rather, I will sit in dharna till this matter is resolved”, he thundered.

Officials of the high court were also at the house this morning. Their claim to the house in an order of the Chandigarh administration which, on April 12, said that house number 8, sector 2, had been allocated to the high court pool of government houses. This means the high court will be at liberty to allot it to any judge.

Sources said that not only this house but also house number 10, sector 2, and house number 3, sector 3, had been allocated to the “high court pool” of houses. House number 10 was earlier allotted to B.I.S. Chahal, former media adviser to former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, and the Punjab government had allotted the same to Upinderjit Kaur, education minister, on April 4.

Punjab officials admit privately that the Chandigarh administration should have taken the state into confidence if it wanted some government houses for judges. The government houses in sector 2 have been with Punjab ministers ever since these were constructed some 40 years ago.

As they day progressed, the chief secretary expressed ignorance about the matter and said he was yet to be informed about it. Advocate-general H.S. Mattewal said “ the matter will be resolved amicably”. Registrar-general of the high court R. B Gupta said “ I cannot comment on the issue”. Officials of the high court who were at the house said they were not empowered to say anything. The Chandigarh administration officials concerned virtually went into hiding and were not even taking calls on their phones.

Notably, Gosain also showed a copy of a letter which indicated that he had actually taken possession on April 14. On the door of the bungalow an order of the Chandigarh administration has been pasted. It is dated April 19 and says that high court officials took possession of the house on that date. On April 8, Gosain got the BSNL landline telephone installed at the same house re-activated. The house and the telephone were earlier allotted to previous deputy speaker Darbari Lal.

Gosain also showed copies of the letters he had written to the speaker, the Chief Justice of India, the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the Punjab Chief Minister and also the UT administrator. In the letter to the CJI he has demanded that action should be taken against those who took possession of
his house.

Sources in the Chandigarh administration said Chandigarh properties were owned by it and it had every right to change the allocation of government houses. In the past Punjab had pointed out that, as per the Reorganisation of States Act, 1966, the Chandigarh administration was just the custodian of the properties not the owner. Hence, a decision had to be taken with the concurrence of the state.


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