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SC notice to Centre over misuse of defence land


New Delhi, March 24:

The Supreme Court Monday issued notice to the Centre on a public interest litigation seeking investigation of the alleged encroachment of defence land and its commercial exploitation without any revenue gain to the exchequer.Supreme Court

The apex court bench of Chief Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice Ranjan Gogoi issued the notice on a plea by NGO Common Cause seeking investigation into encroachment of two lakh acres of defence land for private interest and commercial exploitation.

Prashant Bhushan, counsel for the NGO said not only should the encroached land be recovered but it should also be determined as to how the land was allowed to be encroached under the very nose of defence authorities.

Seeking the restoration of the land, Bhushan sought formulation of a policy to manage the use of defence land.

The NGO said the defence land should be recovered and be used in public interest.

It said the issue of misuse and encroachment of defence land was highlighted by the Comptroller and Auditor General in its 35th performance audit report of 2010-11.

Notice has also been issued to the Directorate General of Defence Estates.