The Telangana High Court on Wednesday pulled up the state government for seizing the guesthouse of popular actor Prabhas by revenue authorities in Hyderabad and said that the latter should have been informed of the situation ahead of time.
Last month, officials had seized the guest house of the Baahubali actor and other private properties located at Raidurgam on the outskirts of Hyderabad. The revenue officials cited a recent order by the Supreme Court declaring the entire parcel of 84 acres of land as government property. Prabhas, whose full name is Uppalapati Venkata Satyanarayana Prabhas Raju, filed a petition challenging the action by the revenue authorities without serving him a notice. He said he purchased the land in 2005 and paid the fee for its regularisation.
A two-judge division bench comprising Justice V Ramasubramanian and Justice P Keshava Rao, which was hearing the case, was irked that authorities had not informed Prabhas earlier that the regularisation application was rejected. The bench later posted the case for Thursday.
During one of the previous hearings, the court was informed that the land was part of the property once owned by the 'Paigah' family, cases for which were being heard by a separate divison bench. At the time, the government's counsel also informed the court that no demolition was carried out at the seized property.
The Paigah family were aristocrats and noblemen during the reign of the Asaf Jahi dynasty in Hyderabad under the Nizam rule. Considered second only to the Nizam family, the Paigahs had held top positions in the feudal structure and also owned massive tracts of land worth several thousand crore in today's market.
While the state government and heirs of the family are locked in a legal battle over the ownership of the land on one side, several cases have also been filed in the courts over private individuals encroaching the land and regularising it by paying a sum to the state government.