The Bombay high court on Tuesday directed the Maharashtra government to hand over 2,000 sq metres of land at Kolhapur, vested with the state under the Urban Land Ceiling Act, to singer Lata Mangeshkar.
Mangeshkar owned 38,623.20 sq metres of land at Kolhapur's B Ward when the law was implemented in 1976. In line with the government policy, she made a declaration designating 6,771 sq metres as non-vacant land.
Of the remaining vacant land, the surplus was calculated under the Act to measure 23,889.17 sq metres.
A division bench of Justices F I Rebeillo and S J Vazifdar directed Kolhapur district's additional collector to re-calculate the surplus land after deducting the 2,000 sq metres that can be retained by Mangeshkar.
Mangeshkar's counsel Amit Borkar contended that under a 1991 Supreme Court judgement, his client is eligible to retain 2,000 sq metres of the surplus vacant land but the same was not allotted to her.
State government pleader Molina Thakur said according to the apex court's judgment, the Union and state governments had issued circulars making the same applicable in prospective cases from the date of the order. Mangeshkar's declaration had been filed much before that order and she was not eligible for the benefit, Thakur said.However, the court held that the apex court's judgment did not specify it should be implemented with prospective effect and Mangeshkar was thus entitled to the 2,000 sq metres of land.