New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday quashed the allotment of land to cricketer Sourav Ganguly by West Bengal government in Kolkata saying it was "unreasonable and arbitrary" and asked him to surrender the plot in two weeks.
The bench, also comprising Justice G S Singhvi, set aside the allotment of 63.04 'katha' land given to the former India captain by the Left Front government in the year 2000 in posh Salt Lake locality of Kolkata.
It directed Ganguly to surrender the land within two weeks.
"The impugned allotment of a different and bigger plot by the government in favour of the allottee without any advertisement, when initially advertisement was resorted to, and then it was given up and everything was rushed through in
hot haste, is unreasonable and arbitrary," the bench said.
The court passed the order on a petition filed by a West Bengal-based NGO, Humanity and others, challenging the Calcutta High Court's order which had upheld the state government's decision to allot the land to Ganguly.
"The Government granted the allotment with remarkable speed and without considering all aspects of the matter. This court does not find any legitimacy in the action of the Government, which has to act within the discipline of the
constitutional law," the court said.
Allowing the appeal of NGO, the bench quashed the land allotment and also directed the government to refund the money paid by Ganguly for the plot.
The apex court, however, lauded Ganguly's cricketing skills particularly his "glorious cover drives and effortless lofted shots".