The Supreme Court on Monday gave a go ahead for sale of a part of the 774 acres of land in Maharashtra belonging to VSNL, now Tata Communications, by the government. A bench comprising Justices Dalveer Bhandari and Deepak Verma dismissed the plea of Santosh Babanrao Walke and others, who were the original owners of the land.
They had requested the apex court to stop the government from selling the land to a third party till the Bombay High Court decides on the dispute regarding compensation for the land. According to them, they were still the legal owners of the land and the government has failed to show them any material or document under which the land was acquired.
The land is part of the 774 acres acquired by the then Government of Bombay for India Radio Telegraph Company in 1925. After Independence, the company was taken over by the government for its overseas communication service. Tata group company Panatone Finvest had acquired a controlling stake in VSNL on February 13, 2002, for Rs 1,439 crore as part of the disinvestment programme of the then NDA government.