HC cancels allotment of Rs. 50k cr worth land to IMG Bharata made during Chandrababu regime

The High Court has definitively ruled that the lands allocated to ‘IMG Bharat’ during Chandrababu’s government rightfully belong to the government. It upheld the orders issued by the YS Rajashekar Reddy government, effectively canceling the allotment of these lands. The controversy, dating back to 2003, initially saw the government undervalue the land at Rs. 50,000 per acre, a move that was eventually rectified after years of legal dispute. The resolution of this matter has now resulted in the Telangana government gaining control over 800 acres of land valued at approximately Rs. 50,000 crore.

IMG Bharata, led by Ahobalarao alias Billi Rao, was registered on August 5, 2003. The company pledged to develop top-notch sports facilities and train athletes for the 2020 Olympics. Remarkably, the erstwhile AP government swiftly entered into an agreement with IMG India just four days after its inception.

The allotted lands included 400 acres from the Central University in Gachibowli, Serilingampalli mandal of Rangareddy district, and another 450 acres in Saroornagar mandal near Airport. Despite the prevailing market value of an acre being Rs.10 crores at the time, the government allocated the land at a nominal rate of Rs. 50,000 per acre, a decision that drew severe criticism. 

Notably, the government waived the registration fee for Billy Rao. Furthermore, Chandrababu Naidu faced backlash for not fixing a definite amount for leasing numerous sports grounds on the outskirts of Hyderabad to IMG for a lengthy 45-year term, and shockingly, the government committed to covering the maintenance costs of the stadiums.

In 2004, after the Congress assumed the power, the YSR-led administration vehemently opposed Chandrababu’s decision, questioning the rationale behind entrusting valuable land to an organization lacking relevant experience. In response, IMG contested the cancellation of land allotment in the High Court, leading to a protracted legal battle that spanned since 2006.

After extensive deliberations, the High Court ultimately sided with the YSR government’s decision, putting an end to the longstanding dispute. The result is that Rs. 50,000 crore worth land has been officially returned to the government’s possession.