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Controversy surrounds a multi-crore land deal in Ayodhya involving Art of Living NGO. Legal disputes arise over a disputed floodplain area, casting doubt on the proposed open-air meditation center project.

Land Deal Unraveled

In a significant setback, a multi-crore land deal between an Ayodhya resident, Abdul Kalam, and Art of Living’s NGO Vyakti Vikas Kendra India (VVKI) has been marred by legal complexities. The deal, involving a 5.3-hectare plot in Ayodhya’s Manjha Jamthara village, valued at Rs 9.5 crore, faced a stumbling block when the local revenue court canceled the mutation process. The court’s decision was based on the grounds that the plot falls within the floodplains of the Saryu River and “does not exist (in entirety) on the ground,” as stated in the purchase agreement.

Controversy Over Floodplain Area

The controversy centers around the location of the plot, which, according to the court, lies in a floodplain area where construction is prohibited. VVKI, however, contends that their intention was not commercial but aimed at creating an open-air meditation center near the Saryu River. They argue that the construction ban does not hinder their plans for a peaceful meditation space amidst tree plantations.

Legal Battles and Conflicting Records

Legal battles ensued after the Assistant Revenue Officer (ARO) canceled the mutation process, citing discrepancies in the land records. The court noted that the entry made in Abdul Kalam’s name in 2016 was unauthorized, leading to its cancellation in May 2023. VVKI, in response, has appealed against this decision, maintaining that the land deal was conducted transparently and within legal boundaries.

Aunt’s Involvement and Alleged Fraud

Abdul Kalam clarified that the land originally belonged to his deceased aunt, Fayaaz Khatoon, and that the entry in his name occurred several years after her passing. He disputes allegations of fraud, presenting legal documents to support his claim. The case, now pending in various courts, raises questions about the authenticity of the land deal and whether it was conducted in good faith.

Ongoing Legal Battles and Uncertain Future

The legal battle continues, with the next hearing scheduled for 9 November. The case’s outcome will determine the fate of Art of Living’s proposed meditation center in Ayodhya. As stakeholders await a resolution, questions linger about the accuracy of land records, the legitimacy of the deal, and the potential impact on future projects in the region.

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