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Oct 18, 2011

Failed Injunction against Jitendra Chawla

The land dispute between businessman Jitendra Chawla and Ricardo and Sheila Escalante over a half acre plot being occupied by the couple in the Krooman Lagoon area near mile two on the Western Highway was heard in the Supreme Court this morning.  The Escalante’s had filed for an injunction halting the issuance of a title to Chawla or any other interested party; however, Justice Minnet Haffiz rejected the application on the grounds that the Ministry of Natural Resources, through the Lands Department, proceeded with the matter despite a court order being sought.  The Escalantes, who bought the property in 1989, extended their lots by unlawfully filling in an additional portion of land which Chawla is now claiming as his.  Senior Counsel Dean Lindo told News Five today that the legal battle will continue despite the failed injunction.

Dean Lindo, Attorney for Ricardo & Sheila Escalante

Dean Lindo

“Our side had filed the application sometime ago and we are hoping to try to anticipate that the land wouldn’t be handed over to Mr. Chawla or anyone else for that matter.  Well it didn’t turn out that way because the Lands Department went ahead and issued title to the land.  So by the time it faced the judge this morning the judge took the view that well look there’s no point giving the judgment, any ruling because the land is already transferred.  There’s a saying in lawyer’s say [that] the law does not act in vain and that is saying look I could give you the judgment but it would be nominal, have no value.  So that is what is happening and she said that she couldn’t rule any other way and so far as I’m concerned she was right. We pointed out that when the Lands Department gave the title to Mr. Chawla that Section 31 of the Registered Land Act laid down certain conditions on the title and we are saying that one of the conditions that was laid down was not satisfied and therefore the title could be subject to question, a query or a challenge in court and that is exactly what we propose to do.”

According to Lindo court proceedings to resolve the matter may take as many as eight months.  The Escalantes are claiming prescriptive rights over the half acre plot having developed and occupied it for over twenty-two years.

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