Anjolie Ela Menon Withdraws Petition on Land Issue

Anjolie Ela Menon Withdraws Petition on Land Issue
Renowned painter Anjolie Ela Menon today withdrew her petition and decided to appear before Haryana government constituted high-powered committee to reconsider the claims of those who have challenged acquisition of over 850 acres of land in Gurgaon.

On August 3, Menon had in a statement distanced herself from the ongoing controversy regarding a land deal for an eye hospital to be set-up by Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust in Ulhawas, saying her concerns were limited to environmental issues in Aravalli area.

The case of the landowners, who have not accepted the state government's offer so far, came up for resumed hearing on the land acquisition issue in Punjab and Haryana High Court here today.

Senior advocate, M L Sarin, appearing on behalf of the Padma Shri awardee artist, told the Division Bench of Justice Jasbir Singh and Justice Augustine George Masih that his client had decided to appear before the Committee and withdraw her petition.

After Menon's decision, less than ten petitioners out of a total of nearly 70 earlier are now left contesting their case before the court.

Other claimants have agreed to put their grievances before the committee headed by Principal Secretary, Town and Country Planning, to examine the land acquisition.

In case of not being satisfied after presenting their case before the committee, the petitioners can again approach the court.

The celebrated painter had said she was shocked to see media reports that she was supposedly responsible for "leading" a farmers' agitation in Haryana and that the Trust's eye hospital was by implication being targeted by her.

Among the petitioners still contesting their case include Gurgaon-resident Arvind Katewa who has so far refused to accept the state government's offer.

Katewa and some others had raised the issue of alleged arbitrary release of land to Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust.

Appearing on behalf of the state government, Advocate General Hawa Singh Hooda had maintained before the court that the government had committed no wrong in acquisition and release of land for development of Sectors 58 to 63 in Gurgaon.

He had also denied allegations of discrimination levelled by landowners in Ulhawas village of Gurgaon. The advocate general had also countered allegations that Haryana was dolling out land to builders, submitting that the state was issuing licences to builders for the benefit of public.
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