Cricketer-Politician Yusuf Pathan Moves Gujarat HC against Land Encroachment Notice

Yusuf Pathan

Former Indian cricketer and newly-elected Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Yusuf Pathan moved the Gujarat High Court against a notice issued by the Vadodara civic body. The notice demanded that he remove the alleged encroachment on a piece of land owned by the civic body in the city.

Yusuf Pathan, in his plea, argued that since the mater is over 10 years old and the plot in question has been in his possession, the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) should have issued a show-cause notice instead of one demanding the “clearance of encroachment” and freeing of the VMC-owned plot. Pathan also contended that the Gujarat government, which rejected the VMC’s proposal to sell the land to him in 2014, cannot deny the sale because the land belongs to the civic body, not the state government.

A single judge Justice Sangeeta Vishen, after hearing arguments presented by senior advocate Yatin Oza, representing Pathan, asked the VMC’s lawyer to present the civic body’s case in the next hearing scheduled for Friday.

Cricketer Turned Politician

Yusuf Pathan, a former all-rounder, resides in the Tadalja area of Vadodara, and the plot in question is adjacent to his residence. He won from the Baharampur constituency (in Murshidabad district of West Bengal) in the Lok Sabha elections, the results of which were announced on June 4, 2024.

On June 6, two days after the poll results, the BJP-ruled VMC sent a notice to Pathan for allegedly encroaching on a plot of land that the civic body claims belongs to it. Oza attempted to link Pathan’s election as a TMC MP with the notice, pointing out that the VMC did nothing for 10 years and suddenly sent a notice just two days after the poll results.

When Oza tried to suggest that Pathan was served notice because “his party is different,” the judge instructed the lawyer to stay focused on the main issue.

Details of the Case

According to the case details, it is a residential plot owned by the VMC. In 2012, Pathan had requested this plot from the VMC because it was adjacent to his house. He had offered to purchase it at the market rate. Although the VMC cleared the proposal to sell the land to Pathan in 2014, the state government, which has the final authority in such matters, did not approve it. However, the land remained in Pathan’s “possession” since then, Oza stated.

When the court pointed out that the state government has such rights, Oza argued that a corporation, not the state, is the final authority in such matters as per the Gujarat Provincial Municipal Corporations Act (GPMC Act) if the land belongs to the civic body and not the state government.

Oza mentioned that the VMC had decided to give this plot to Yusuf Pathan and his cricketer brother Irfan Pathan for their contributions when they were in the Indian team when this proposal was cleared. He argued that the VMC should have allotted the land when the proposal was approved by it.

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte