Gujarat HC to the rescue of
retired woman IAS officer

AHMEDABAD - The Gujarat High Court has brought smiles, though temporarily, on the face of a retired woman IAS officer who claims that the state government had deprived her of a plot of land offered to bureaucrats, legislators, parliamentarians and former ministers at concessional rates.

By Mahesh Trivedi

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Published: Wed 20 Jul 2011, 12:15 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 10:07 PM

The court expressed displeasure at the government’s approach and ordered that Sheila Benjamin’s case be reconsidered within three months in the light of the fact that an officer junior to her had been allotted a plot in the state capital of Gandhinagar near here.

Benjamin, a 1994-batch IAS officer, had retired on September 30, 2007 as additional secretary, agriculture and cooperatives department. She had filed a petition in the high court stating that the Gujarat government had not allotted her a plot while an officer, who was her junior, had been given the one. The court observed that Benjamin’s claim should have been examined at the relevant time, adding that if a senior officer was denied a benefit granted to a junior, then there could hardly be any justification for denying the benefit to the petitioner.

According to a 1999 government resolution, all the IAS/IPS officers and government officials who had served in Gandhinagar for more than five years, were eligible to get plots measuring from 90 square metres to 330 square metres at very cheap rates. Officers of the rank of secretary and above were eligible to get plots measuring 330 sqm, the present market price for which would be Rs15 million in Gandhinagar.

Land prices have been zooming in Gandhinagar which is now witnessing a construction boom. Five years ago, a 2-BHK flat was available at Rs700,000 but now it would cost Rs2 million.

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