New Delhi: After a three-decade-long legal battle, Salwan Education Trust, which runs a chain of private schools, has been held guilty of illegally occupying 6.5 acres of land of Indian Council of Agricultural Research in central Delhi and directed to vacate it forthwith by a ci
   
"The possession of land by trust at any point of time under this cancelled allotment cannot be held as lawful," senior Civil Judge Ajay Goel said in his order and decreed the ownership of the land on Pusa road in favour of ICAR, while also imposing unspecified litigation cost over the trust.
   
The court rapped the Salwan Education Trust for holding on to the land belonging to ICAR, the country's prestigious institution in the field of agricultural research, planning and education, despite its erroneous allotment to it by the city's lieutenant governor having been cancelled in 1983 itself.
   
"In the circumstances, the suit of the plaintiff (ICAR) stands decreed with cost. Decree of declaration is passed that the suit property vest in plaintiff society, which is entitled to the possession of the same," the court said.
   
"The defendants (trust) have no right or interest in the said land and they have no concern after the cancellation of the allotment in their favour and thus they have no right to interfere in the suit property," it added.
   
The case dates back to 1983 when 6.5 acre land in Central Delhi was allotted to the education trust by the city lieutenant governor for establishing 'G D Salwan College' under the University of Delhi.

ICAR moved the Delhi High Court contending that the land was part of the 13-acre tract allotted to it in 1968.
   
The DDA in its reply to the High Court accepted its mistake and told the court that the allotment of the land in favour of the Salwan Education Trust was cancelled in
July 1983.
   
On DDA's assurance, the ICAR withdrew its petition from the High Court but it had to move a civil court in 1984 after Salwan Education Trust refused to vacate it.

(Agencies)