SC stays Patna HC proceedings in PIL related to Bihar Vidyapeeth land


PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 25-07-2022 20:16 IST | Created: 25-07-2022 20:16 IST
SC stays Patna HC proceedings in PIL related to Bihar Vidyapeeth land
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New Delhi, Jul 25 (PTI)The Supreme Court Monday stayed the proceedings before the Patna High Court which has been passing directions to the state government concerning take over of the 32-acre ''private'' land of ‘Bihar Vidyapeeth’, which once housed Congress office ‘Sadakat Ashram’, at a prime location in the state capital there.

A bench comprising Justices S A Nazeer and J K Maheswari took note of the submissions of senior lawyer Shyam Divan and advocate Shoeb Alam, appearing for Vidyapeeth, that the high court has been passing orders with regard to the private property in a PIL (public interest litigation) jurisdiction.

The Bihar Vidyapeeth, spread over 32 acres, was set up by Mahatma Gandhi on February 6, 1921, on the banks of Ganga in the state capital and had Congress party’s office ‘Sadakat Ashram’ on its land for decades.

The Vidyapeeth, a private society registered under the Societies Registration Act, has moved to the apex court through advocate Fauzia Shakil and highlighted in the petition how the high court was passing orders which were in blatant violation of the rights of the society under the Constitution.

The Patna High Court, since December 2021, is seized of a PIL that had prayed for the maintenance and upkeep of the birthplace of Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the first President, in Siwan district in Bihar.

Later, the high court expanded the ambit of the PIL and brought the last rite place of the first President and the two museums, run privately by the Bihar Vidyapeeth, into its premises.

These two private museums are houses where Prasad had stayed for some period during his lifetime. Initially, the high court directed the Commissioner of Patna to take over the management of the two museums.

It later directed that no sale deed about the land of the Bihar Vidyapeeth will be registered.

The high court in the impugned orders had also directed the state government to bring in special legislation to take over the entire 32-acre campus of the private institution.

Divan, in his arguments, said the two museums were only located on two acres of land of the approximately 32-acre campus.

The senior lawyer also said about twelve other institutions were running from the campus of this private society which included B Ed colleges, schools, and hostels.

The high court was wrong in directing the relocation of all of these educational institutions away from the two museums, he said.

A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana, on July 21, had said it has nominated a bench to hear the plea of Vidyapeeth challenging the Patna High Court directions to the state government to take over its 32-acre ''private'' land.

The Patna High Court has been issuing several orders concerning the land in question while hearing a PIL.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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