The Centre on Monday submitted an affidavit in the Bombay High Court, asserting its ownership and title over a land in Mumbai's Kanjurmarg area, where the Maharashtra government had proposed to construct a Metro car shed, and claimed that a decree in the name of a private firm with respect to the land was obtained fraudulently and should be held as null and void.

The Centre and the Maharashtra government are locked in a dispute over the ownership of the said land. The state government had proposed to construct a car shed for its Metro project on about 100 acre of land.

In March this year, the Maharashtra government learnt that the high court had in October 2020 granted the decree of over 6,000-acre land in Kanjurmarg area to a private firm- Adarsh Water Parks and Resorts.

Following this, the state government filed an application in the High Court, challenging the decree granted and sought for it to be held as illegal.

On Monday, the Union government's salt and defence departments submitted their affidavits in response to the application, wherein the Centre reiterated that it owned the land. The land was in the Centre's possession, the affidavits said.

The affidavits also claimed that the decree granted to the Adarsh Water Parks and Resorts Private Limited in October 2020 was a "fraud played on the court and the government".

"The Union government denies that the applicant (Maharashtra government) or any other party has any right, title and interest or possession of the land," the Union government's Defence department said in its affidavit.

The affidavits claimed the Centre learnt about the decree only after the Maharashtra government filed the application in March this year.

A single Bench of Justice A K Menon posted the matter for further hearing on June 13.

The state government had in its application claimed that over 1,800 acre of the disputed land belonged to it and the private firm did not have any right on it, adding the order was fraudulently obtained by the private firm.

The firm deliberately did not make the Maharashtra government a party to the suit, the state said in its application.

On October 28, 2020, the private firm had obtained a High Court's order on its suit filed in 2006 against a few persons. The company had sought specific performance or compliance with an agreement of August 2005, as per which, the firm claimed, that it was granted development rights of the entire Kanjur village.

As per Advocate Himanshu Takke, representing the Maharashtra government, the high court was not informed that out of the over 6,000 acre land, over 1,800 acre belonged to the state government, nearly 120 acre to the Centre and about 200 acre of land parcels in Kanjurmarg village belonged to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.

With PTI inputs