Supreme Court quashes land acquisition in Greater Noida

July 7th, 2011 - 12:08 am ICT by IANS  

Bahujan Samaj Party New Delhi, July 6 (IANS) In a major setback to the Mayawati government in Uttar Pradesh, the Supreme Court Wednesday upheld an Allahabad High Court verdict and quashed the acquisition of land in Shahberi village of Greater Noida. The court also voiced suspicion over the manner in which land rules were changed days of the acquisition.

An apex court bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice A.K. Ganguly held that the acquisition of 156 hectares of village land under the emergency provisions of the Land Acquistion Act (Section 19) was bad in law.

The Bahujan Samaj Party government had taken over the land in Shahberi village in Bhatta-Parsaul area of Greater Noida under the emergency provisions of the act under which the land owners were denied the right to be heard.

Dismissing the petitions by the Greater Noida Authority (GNA) and several private builders against the June verdict of the Allahabad High Court, the apex court also fined the GNA Rs.10 lakh.

There was no justification for invoking emergency provisions to acquire the land when 60 percent of the already acquired land had not been utilised by the state, the bench said.

The court also suspected the manner in which land rules were changed from industrial to residential purposes within eleven days of the acquisition.

The court noted that even before changing the land use, there were public notices inviting bids from the private builders for the allotment of land for residential purposes.

Dismissing the petitions by the GNA and the private builders challenging the Allahabad High court verdict, the apex court said that “those who are entrusted with the duty of serving the public think that they are their masters”.

The court further told the senior counsel appearing for the petitioners, “You and I can’t understand the psyche of the farmers who call his land his mother.”

The court said that it will pass a detailed and reasoned order later.

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