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Karnataka HC Denies Hinduja Renewable’s Plea For 26 MW Solar Plant On Disputed Land

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The Karnataka High Court denied Hinduja Renewables Two Private Limited’s request to build a solar power plant on contested property in the state’s Raichur district at an estimated cost of Rs 1.46 billion.

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In the Raichur district’s Mallata village, the two respondents had filed a petition with the lower court asking for a one-sixth share in the joint family estate, which the grandfather had taken over following their father’s passing. 

The grandfather and his other children signed a contract with Hinduja Renewables Two, an entity owned by Hinduja Renewable Energy, to build a solar project on their land. The petitioners said that they owned 35 acres of the entire land as their portion.

The developer informed the court that following careful consideration, it has chosen to invest about Rs 1.46 billion in the development of the 26 MW solar project. 14.25 MW of the 26 MW have already been put into service. 

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A trial court had found that if Hinduja Renewables moved on with the building work, the respondents—who are minors—would suffer loss and hardship in receiving their share.

However, the developer claimed that it had received authorization from the government and other regulatory organizations. 

Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation (KPTCL) and Gulbarga Electricity Supply Company (GESCOM) had given their approval for the 14.25 MW solar project, and on November 20, 2021, they issued the commissioning certificate.

Before signing a registered sale agreement dated June 18, 2021, 14.25 MW of the project was finished, authorized, and commissioned.

The developer had requested complaints from anybody with land rights in a public notice published in the media, and it has not heard any complaints.

The business said that it had paid Rs 15,417,400 on the date of the recorded sale agreement with the respondent’s uncle and had taken all required safeguards before doing so.

The respondents claimed that the developer had purposefully executed the papers and carried out construction in contravention of the trial court’s ruling while fully aware of the pending litigation and the respondents’ rights.

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The court observed that the documents in favor of the developer are dated after the lawsuit has been filed in the trial court. At the time of the litigation, the developer was just an agreement holder. 

The High Court decided that the developer could not assert any right, title, or interest in the land through the registered sale agreement. The developer continued with the project’s construction despite being aware of the respondents’ rights to the property. The developer should have taken the necessary precautions to reduce the risk after becoming aware of the rights asserted, but had not done so.

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