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High Court refuses to quash allotment of land to Mahindra & Mahindra

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The order is significant against backdrop of an MoU signed by state government and M&Min respect of commissioning of Rs 700 crore project at Nashik

The has dismissed a petition filed by a company Pvt Ltd praying for allotment of a three acre plot in Nashik to itself and cancellation of adjacent plots alloted to Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd and an industrialist.

The court observed that the Maharashtra government and the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) had acted in the interests of the state while allotting the adjacent plots admeasuring 17 acres and six acres to Mahindra & Mahindra and Nashik-based industrialist respectively.

Zenith Metaplast also sought a writ of certiorari to quash the communications dated 16th December, 2005 and 22nd June, 2006, rejecting its application for the allotment of a plot admeasuring about 3 acres in the same area.

The order is considered significant against the backdrop of an MoU signed by Maharashtra government and Mahindra and Mahindra on June 15, 2005, in respect of commissioning of Rs 700 crore project at Nashik for manufacture of "Logan" car. "Having been through the records, we are satisfied that there is no arbitrariness in the decision. The decision to allot the said plots to Mahindra & Mahindra and Abhay Kulkarni was taken after due consideration of all the facts and circumstances of the case," observed Justices R Y Ganoo and S J Vajifdar in their recent order.

"MIDC and the state of Maharashtra considered the application of Mahindra & Mahindra and Abhay Kulkarni to be, inter-alia, in public interest for the benefit of the state. We find no reason to condemn this decision as arbitrary for any reason whatsoever," the judges observed.

The MIDC contended that the petitioner, over the years, had been allotted eight plots of land in the said area, but the full potential of even these plots was not exploited by the petitioner and therefore it has no case.

"The details of these eight plots and the extent to which they have been exploited have been furnished. The petitioner has not denied these statements or offered any cogent explanation for accumulating plots and not using them," the bench noted.

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