New Delhi: The Madhya Pradesh government on Wednesday received a big jolt as the Apex Court has cancelled the allocation of 20 acres land to the Kushabhau Thakre Trust in Bhopal mentioning it being illegal.

The Uma Bharti government in 2004 had allocated the land to the trust at a throwaway price. Several senior leaders of the BJP like Lal Krishna Advani, Venkaiah Naidu, Sanjay Joshi and Kailash Joshi are said to be trustees.

Accepting the petition filed by an NGO Akhil Bhartiya Upbhokta Congress challenging the land allocation to Kushabhau Thakare Trust, a bench comprising Justice GS Singhvi and AK Ganguli annulled the notification amending the Development Plan for giving land to the trust.

The bench has directed the Town and Country Planning Commissioner of Bhopal to take possession of the land. The court has also directed the state government to return the allocation funds to the trust within 15 days.

Interestingly, the trust had been allocated 20 acres of land for just Rs 25 lakh in the Bawaria Kalan village in Bhopal while the actual price stood crores.

The SC said neither the state government nor its agencies can show leniency to anybody. All decisions regarding allocation of the land should be rational, transparent and non-discretionary, said the court. The Apex Court also added the government cannot allocate land on the basis of cast, community or religion. 

The bench said that rules were flouted and the reservation and allocation of land were made in the favor of Kushabhau Thakre Memorial Trust.