Lands taken to court

National, Normal

The National, Friday, June 10th 2011

THE Mt Hagen urban level government is taking the Lands Department and its agents to court, claiming it had not been officially notified of the forfeiture of a K3 million property it owns in Mt Hagen.
In court documents, the Mt Hagen ULG claims it had development on the portion of land worth K3 million in accordance with improvement cove­nants contained in the state lease and yet the Lands Department and its agents claimed it had not properly complied with the covenants.
It denied that claim, resulting in the court proceedings following the conversion of the “special purpose lease” belonging to the plaintiff to be an “agricultural lease” and granting it to another party, the Oghambe People’s Foundation Inc.
The Mt Hagen urban council would have to argue on the matter on July 18; following leave being granted by Justice Allen David last Sept 22 for a judicial review.
That was followed by Justice Jacinta Murray last May 13,  issuing interim restraining orders against the Lands Department, its servants, agents and members of Oghambe People’s Foundation Inc in order to maintain the status quo until the matter is properly heard and determined by the court.
The Lands Department revoked the Mt Hagen ULG’s lease-ownership and described as portions 94 and 95; Millinch of Mt Hagen, Fourmil of Ramu, Western Highlands, contained in state lease Volume 25 folio 162 and containing an area of 8 acres and 2 roads located in Mt Hagen city central.
The substantive judicial review application is set down for trial in Mt Hagen on July 18 at 9.30am.
However, Mt Hagen ULG’s lawyer, Raurela Lawyers, said the state had not to date filed any affidavits defending its decision to forfeit a “special purpose lease” and reissue the property to another party, sixth defendants: the Oghambe People’s Foundation Inc on portion 94 and 95 as “agricultural lease”.
The others are first defendant Lands and Physical Planning Secretary Pepi Kimas, second defendant Minister for Lands and Physical Planning Sir Puka Temu, third defendant Land Board of PNG; fourth defendant is Department of Physical Planning and fifth defendant is the state.