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Averment Of Political Rivalry By Itself Does Not Constitute A 'Plea Of Mala Fides': SC [Read Judgment]

Ashok Kini
27 March 2019 3:05 AM GMT
Averment Of Political Rivalry By Itself Does Not Constitute A Plea Of Mala Fides: SC [Read Judgment]
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"Such averments by itself do not constitute a plea of mala fides without there being any substantial material in its support."

The Supreme Court has observed that mere averment of political rivalry by itself would not constitute a plea of malafides to interfere with an administrative decision taken by the state. The State of Tamil Nadu, in 1980 had allotted some land to an Agricultural Horticultural Society. In 1989, the state resumed the land in for public purpose, namely, development of sports ...

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The Supreme Court has observed that mere averment of political rivalry by itself would not constitute a plea of malafides to interfere with an administrative decision taken by the state.

The State of Tamil Nadu, in 1980 had allotted some land to an Agricultural Horticultural Society. In 1989, the state resumed the land in for public purpose, namely, development of sports facilities without affecting the environment and development of horticulture and horticulture research.

This resumption order was challenged by the Society before the High court mainly on the ground of mala fides. They alleged that since they were the members of the opposition party, the party in power at that time issued the resumption order. The Madras High Court dismissed the writ petition.

The bench comprising Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari observed that the State has only exercised the right of resumption of the land for a public purpose and it is entitled to do so. As regards 'plea of malafides', the bench observed:

"A plea of mala fides, in our view, has no factual and legal foundation to sustain because we find that it is only based on the averment that since the appellant happened to be a member of the opposition party, the party in power at that time had taken the impugned action to resume the land against them. Such averments by itself do not constitute a plea of mala fides without there being any substantial material in its support."

While dismissing the appeal, the bench observed that the State will ensure that the land in question would only be used for the public purpose and not for other purposes.

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